TaclobanMOAPhilippine Reclamation Authority and the City of Tacloban signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of the Tacloban Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) master plan.

To implement a pilot program of shoreline pond and mangrove restoration, the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the Tacloban City government signed a Memorandum of Agreement last August 8 at the Tacloban City Hall.

Signed by PRA General Manager & CEO Janilo E. Rubiato and Mayor Cristina Gonzalez - Romualdez, the MOA will pave the way for the much needed implementation of the Tacloban Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) master plan. The project, dubbed as One Resilient Team: Tacloban with a funding of USD 135,275, will be initiated at Barangays Nula Tula and New Kawayan in the said city.

The fund was a seed grant from Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) after PRA and One Architecture and Urbanism, an award-winning Amsterdam and New York-based design and planning firm, joined and won the Global Resilience Water Window Challenge. The challenge is a competitive process that aims to promote water resilience by developing and testing novel solutions in a local setting.

The two barangays were selected through consultations with different local and national government agencies. They are also part of the recommendations indicated in the master plan.  

As part of the “prevention” component of the Tacloban DRR master plan, the pilot program intends to minimize the probability of flooding through the use of hard and soft engineering interventions. In this case, pond restoration and mangrove planting will be used as soft engineering interventions.

The implementation of the program will involve series of trainings and will be executed by local participants in coordination with local organizations and the City Government of Tacloban. The program will leverage the community’s on-the-ground knowledge and will focus efforts where impacts will be greatest. At the end of the program, local flood resilience and strengthened natural ecosystem functions are expected.

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L-R (Front): Tacloban City-ENRO Officer Mr. Jonathan Hijada, (third from left)  PRA General Manager and CEO Atty. Janilo E. Rubiato, Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzales - Romualdez, City Administrator of Tacloban Atty. Irene Chua, City Planning Officer of Tacloban Ms. Janice Claire Canta and PRA Environmental Management Department Manager Engr. Elizabeth S. Mendoza        L-R (Back): (second from left) PRA Reclamation Group Assistant General Manager Atty. Joseph M. Literal, (fourth from left) Engr. Roberto P. Muñoz, PRA Supervising Ecosystem Management Specialist Engr. Mark John Pineda, 

Other components of the Tacloban DRR master plan are spatial planning and emergency management. They aim to minimize damage and casualties and to integrate public awareness and early warning systems, respectively. These components were adopted in the Tacloban City Comprehensive Land Use Plan and are currently being implemented. The master plan is a product of a Dutch government funded study requested by PRA and conducted by Dutch water experts. The PRA and the City of Tacloban and its residents are likewise involved in the crafting of the study.

This initiative aims to be a pilot project as well for similar restorations and soft-infrastructure implementations in other flooding and storm surge vulnerable areas of the country.