Freeman Region

PRA, Tacloban City LGU launch mangrove restoration program

Miriam Garcia Desacada - The Freeman

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Nearly four years after the Yolanda devastation, the Tacloban City government and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) have agreed to launch the shoreline pond and mangrove restoration program in the city.

Signing the memorandum of agreement for the project were Mayor Cristina Romualdez, and PRA chief operating officer and general manager Janilo Rubiato.

The program will be part of the implementation of the City's Disaster Risk Reduction master plan. Dubbed as “One Resilient Team: Tacloban,” it has a funding of US$135,275, and will be initiated at Barangay 74 Nula-Tula and the New Kawayan village of the city.

The two barangays were selected through consultations with different local and national government agencies and upon the recommendation of the project consultant, Foundation Wetlands International.

Rubiato said that 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 was a competitive process that aims to promote water resilience by developing and testing novel solutions in a local setting.

The shoreline pond and mangrove restoration program, as part of the “prevention” component of the Tacloban DRR master plan, is designed to minimize the probability of flooding through the use of hard and 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 Tacloban City local government.

Thousands of mangroves will be planted on the 15,000-hectare shoreline of Tacloban within 18 months. "You restore the mangroves, which are natural protection of storm surge and, if this will be successful, we will replicate this in other vulnerable areas," Rubiato added.

Romualdez welcomed this development, saying that the program will also “give way to more investors into the city.” (FREEMAN)

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