The Philippine Star
NAVAL, Biliran, Philippines – Barely a month in office, newly elected Biliran Gov. Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina Jr. pushed for the implementation of various infrastructure projects worth P12.786 million, including the much-awaited low-cost housing project for government employees.
Espina, the youngest to have been elected governor in this province, is a former congressman of the lone district of Biliran during the 13th Congress and has served as mayor of Naval, the provincial capital for two terms in 1998 until 2004. He replaced his elder brother Rogelio Espina who served as governor for three terms since 2001 until he was elected congressman during the elections last May.
The low cost housing for government employees is a much-awaited project of the provincial government. Preparations have been started since 1995, but for one reason or another, the project was not successfully implemented. Even during the administration of the immediate past Gov. Roger Espina, the proposal to source out funding for its development in the amount of P35 million from a government-financing institution was met with heavy opposition.
Recently, Espina approved the site preparation amounting to P6.33 million in three phases, which was expected to start in August this year. The scope of work includes road preparation, drainage construction and sub-division of lots. The housing project has 1,109 units ion a 10-hectare property owned by the provincial government in Barangay Larrazabal, of Naval town in this province.
There are proposed single and double-detached units of varying floor areas. The project also includes facilities for commercial and amusement purposes.
Espina is also fast-tracking the improvement of barangay roads amounting to P4.9 million. These farm-to-market roads play a vital role in local economy as it directly affects supply and prices of farm products, and basic commodities being transported to upland barangays from town markets. Other infra projects to be implemented early on is the construction of seawall in Barangay Atipolo and basketball court in Barangay Larrazabal, both in the town of Naval amounting to P1.5 million.