TACLOBAN City needs about P40 million to come up with a master plan to curb the problem of widespread flooding during rainy days, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on March 1.

DPWH Eastern Visayas Director Edgar Tabacon said they are seeking authority from their central office to bid the project since the cost is more than the P20-million limit for regional office to implement consultancy services.

Tabacon hopes to complete the drafting of masterplan within the year for implementation in 2019.

The concrete plan will guide all government agencies in building drainage projects.

“All drainage projects from different funding sources will be implemented based on the plan,” Tabacon said.

Mayor Cristina Romualdez said the master plan is very important considering that the existing drainage system was built in the 1970s and needs major rehabilitation.

“Through the masterplan, building of structures will be regulated. The reason why there is flooding in the city is that many natural waterways in the past has been blocked by structures,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez had asked the DPWH to carry out an emergency solution to rid the waterway of blockage.

The appeal made by the official resulted in the issuance of notices to the owners of properties blocking the waterways, and commencing work on the project.

The City Engineer’s Office has 10 ongoing works in low-lying areas in V&G Subdivision, Marasbaras, Sagkahan, Suhi, San Jose, and Utap villages.

Records from the Regional Development Council show the city needs at least P212.4 million from the National Government for the feasibility study, drainage master plan, and flood-control system.

Tacloban is a first-class highly urbanized city that serves as the regional center of Eastern Visayas.

Based on the 2015 census, Tacloban has a population of 242,089, making it the most populous city in the region. (PNA)