Tacloban City council halts P3.46-B causeway project
TACLOBAN CITY — A P3.46 billion causeway project, which was intended to cut travel time to the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport (DZRA) in this city, is in danger of not being implemented.
The city council here has approved a resolution calling the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPHW) to hold in abeyance the project unless all issues surrounding it would be cleared and threshed out.
The proposed 2.566-kilometer causeway project is envisioned to serve as an alternative route going to the DZRA located in San Jose district, from the city proper.
The city council, in a resolution authored mainly by Councilor Aurora Aimee Grafil, directed the DPWH in the region to address first several issues before they could be allowed to proceed with the project.
Based on Resolution 15-88 issued on May 25, the councilors said they have learned that the DPWH has failed to include an environmental study on the Cancabato Bay where the proposed causeway will traverse.
The Cancabato Bay was declared a marine protected area in Ordinance No.2003-8-138 which prohibits industrial wastes and pollutants.
“The causeway project would greatly affect the environment, impacting the fisherfolk in Tacloban City,” the resolution read.
But despite the opposition of the city council, the DPWH in Eastern Visayas, headed by Engr. Edgar Tabacon, said that he is willing to meet and discuss with the council members to talk about the matter and come up with a “win-win solution.”
“This is for us. This is for Tacloban. It will help our people going to the airport. We have also secured an ECC (environmental clearance certificate) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as early as 2019,” he said on Friday.
Tabacon also explained that the causeway project, which has been in the pipeline since 2018, will not hinder the flow of water at the Cancabato.
“The causeway project is not just the ordinary causeway as it also includes a bridge and box of culverts which will not block the water and affect the marine life there,” he said.
According to Tabacon, the causeway will just measure 300 meters each from the city proper and the airport sides. Its bridge has an elevation of five meters from the sea level.
Tabacon said that under the plan, the causeway project should be completed within the year. Otherwise, the fund will be reverted back to the national coffers.