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By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – In order to promote health, tourism, and development, the provincial government of Biliran laid out its development projects and programs for 2020.
Biliran Governor Rogelio Espina said that one of the provincial government’s top priorities was the development of a housing project intended for government employees.
“I will be working with the HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board) for its further site development, and with Pag-Ibig for the financing in the construction and availment of housing units,” he said, referring to the existing project site in Larrazabal Village in the province’s capital in Naval town.
Espina is also pushing for reclamation development of some 3,000 square meters area at the western part of the Nasunogan causeway in Biliran town, which is the only road that connects travelers to and from the province, next to Biliran Bridge.
“Information and tourism building will be constructed in the proposed reclaimed area to cater to the information and tourism needs of both local and foreign tourists,” Espina said.
He said the project would help boost the potential of the tourism industry in the province as souvenir shops and other business establishments would also be built in the area.
Espina added that police checkpoint and a quarantine area would also be established near the Biliran Bridge.
In terms of food security, Espina said he was also pushing for the construction of a fish port either in Kawayan or Culaba towns that would help in addressing the high prices of fish sold not only in the Naval Public Market, but also in other public markets of the province.
“The fish port will serve as facility for trading of all fish catches from small and big time fishermen in Biliran province including that of commercial fishing boats,” he noted.
Espina shared that the proposed fish port would have a cold storage facility to preserve the freshness of fish catch, and would maintain the volume of fish for consumption.
The governor said he was also proposing to establish fish hatcheries for bangus and tilapia fingerlings at the existing fish ponds at the Biliran Province State University (BiPSU) Biliran campus.
“Establishing our own bangus and tilapia hatcheries would minimize the cost in the procurement of bangus and tilapia fingerlings for distribution to Biliranons,” he said.
He added that the high mortality rate of fingerlings procured from other places was a factor considered in its establishment.
Meanwhile, the official, who is also a medical doctor, underscored the urgent need to establish a dialysis center that would cater to dialysis patients in the province who usually travel to Ormoc and Tacloban City in Leyte for 2 hours.