I've recently found this alternative route going to Ormoc from the South of Leyte. From Bontoc (the town found at the innermost part of Sogod Bay), the road crosses through the entire Leyte Province to Bato (westernmost side).
There are a lot of mini buses that pass through this route. Travel time from Sogod Bus Terminal to Bato is usually 30 minutes, fare is 40PhP. I love the ride. The road is winding and you pass through mountains and beautiful rice fields. For those who are Ormoc-bound, you simply hop on a van once you reach the Bato Bus Terminal. Travel time on average, is 2 hours and the van fare is 140 PhP.