CITY Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez called 2018 a “fruitful and challenging” year for Tacloban as the city continues to receive awards amidst facing various local issues.
The mayor said that despite the many challenges Tacloban City passed through, the city garnered various awards and recognitions.
First, Tacloban is the only highly-urbanized city in Eastern Visayas that performed its best for 2018.
Tacloban received the Cooperative Development Authority- Gawad Parangal 2018 “Hall of Fame” award, after winning for three consecutive years as the best performing local government on cooperative development.
The city also topped this year’s 20th Regional Gawad Kalasag as “Best Government Emergency Response Management-Urban Category” for its outstanding contributions in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance.
The resiliency of Tacloban City in post-Yolanda pushed the city to be one of the region’s 2017 eligible city to have child-friendly local governance best practices and lessons learned on children’s rights.
Amid the Yolanda reconstruction programs, the city also continues to attract more businessmen and investors.
Robinson’s North, Gaisano Real branch, SM Save More and Prime Town Market, Pure Gold Real Branch, Wilcon Hardware, and Mandaue Foam are among the big businesses that opened this year in the city.
In terms of its infrastructure delivery, the city continues to find a solution on its flooding and traffic congestion issues through the construction of waterways, drainages, and widening of roads with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
To cater to the residents in the northern part of Tacloban, the city opened the Sto. Nino City Hall Satellite Office.
Romualdez prioritized the needs of the farmers and fisher folks by upgrading the city public market, providing more stalls for fish, vegetable, and fruit vendors. A new slaughterhouse in Barangay Salvacion will open soon.
For Yolanda housing, the city reported that out of the 14,000 units needed for socialized housing, 80 percent of the houses were already awarded to the survivors by the National Housing Authority.
“Biddings likewise is underway to put a water supply system for Yolanda resettlement sites and pipeline rehabilitation replacement in some parts of the city with the present administration’s support,” the City Government said.
For the residents in the northern resettlement sites, the Duterte administration provided six bus liners and 45 solar e-jeepneys.
The city government said temporary educational facilities like day care centers and child minding centers were established in various resettlement areas.
Health centers continue their medical services for the well-being of every Taclobanon, it added.
Meanwhile, Romualdez said the livelihood and training classes were offered through the Comprehensive Livelihood Entrepreneurial Program (Clep).
The Clep training classes will be housed at the newly-built Tacloban City Community Livelihood Enhancement Training Center. It was built by the Salvation Army in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. The new structure is also known as the first green eco-building in the Eastern Visayas.
The city also received a new Usaid Training Center located next to the city hall which housed the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office for its disaster preparedness training and other activities.
In her 10-point agenda, Romualdez prioritized the implementation of its Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP) in partnership with Mother Earth Foundation to address the garbage disposal of the city.
The city placed several garbage monitoring centers to answer the waste segregation issues in various strategic places, while proper waste segregation will be implemented in all barangays.
The city said, if SWMP will be implemented in the barangay level it will give a potential source of income for the barangay.
Every barangay of the city will now focus more on material recovery and recycling, it added.
Earlier, the city has awarded 52 garbage collector-pedicabs to pilot barangays in order to collect the segregated waste materials.
Pilot barangays are initially assigned to collect and segregate garbage disposals to its Materials Recovery Facilities.
The city partially closed its open dumpsite to fully implement SWMP and to use the sanitary landfill next year.
The city also announced that the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board approved the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2017 to 2025 in October.
In response to Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, the city launched a holistic approach in dealing with persons victimized by harmful drugs through its “new beginning” program.
The “new beginning” program offers livelihood training and moral recovery seminars to people who are victims of substance abuse.
According to Romualdez, their anti-drug program was able to change thousands of lives.
In a statement, Romualdez also took pride and said that this year’s annual festivals– the “Sangyaw” in honor to its patron saint Senor Sto. Nino, Charter Day, and the Leyte Gulf Landing tribute to World War II veterans, among others were successful.
During the 28th and 29th Philippine Travel Mart in Manila, the city garnered the “Best Dressed Booth” which were designed and created by the Guarino brothers.