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Rural development seen as DAR turns over 2 bridges in So. Leyte and E. Samar

Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III in Balangiga, Eastern Samar.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III (right) leads the inauguration and turnover of the P9.1 million 28 linear-meter Tulay ng Pangulo in Balangiga, Eastern Samar during his recent visit to Eastern Visayas.

February 6, 2023

BALANGIGA, Eastern Samar – Residents of Barangay Cag-olango in this municipality are so thankful that a durable bridge was constructed in adjacent village, Sta. Rosa, replacing the wooden bridge which, according to them, many have fallen.

Barangay Cag-olango Chairman Juanito Cabas, together with his constituents, Lilibeth Delcallar, Tessie Elasyon and Eufemia Escalo, did not miss the inauguration of the “Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo” (TPKP) project on Friday (January 27) to express their thanks and happiness to Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III who led the inauguration and turnover rites.

According to them, this is a big help to the farmers especially those living in the upland barangays.

Aside from the two mentioned barangays, residents of two more villages, Guinmaayohan and Maybunga will benefit from this project, they added.

About 4,000 residents from these four villages, 529 of whom are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), are expected to be directly benefited.

Mayor Dana Flynch de Lira in her message also thanked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the blessings being poured into her town, a fourth-class municipality.

This bridge will help us cross from the state of poverty towards a progressive Balangiga, she exclaimed.

On Thursday and Friday (January 26 and 27) during the visit of Estrella to this region, two two-lanes modular prefabricated steel bridges constructed under the TPKP project were inaugurated and turned over to recipient local government units (LGUs) in two separate areas in Eastern Visayas.

Here, Estrella said, “Kahit maliit na bayan ang Balangiga, magkakaroon tayo ng magandang kinabukasan na ipapamana sa ating mga anak.”

A day before, Estrella, who handed Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and turned over farm machineries at the Visayas State University (VSU) in Tolosa, Leyte, ordered Undersecretary Kazel Celeste of the Field Operations Office to lead the inauguration and turnover rites of the TPKP project in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, which was done simultaneously with the activities in Tolosa.

Celeste in her message said, “Kami po ay napakasaya dahil nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na mabisita ang Barangay Ilaya at Nava dahil napakaimportante sa amin na maibigay ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa ating mga magsasaka.” Isa sa mga adhikain ng ating pangulo at kalihim ay “To bring the government closer to the people,” she stressed.

Barangay Chairman Joey Saguran of Barangay Ilaya thanked DAR and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The two government agencies are partner in implementing this project funded by the French government.

Saguran said “Malaki ang tulong ng tulay na ito sa amin dahil mapapadali na ang pagdadala ng aming mga produkto (sa mga pamilihan).”

“Dati, nung spillway pa, pag-umuulan ng isa o dalawang oras, hindi na kami makakadaan dahil umaapaw ang tubig,” Saguran added.

Celeste exclaimed “Napakasaya po namin na sa munting proyekto na ito ay malaki na ang pagbabago na magagawa sa ating mga ARBs.

Aside from the over a thousand residents, most of them are ARBs, in three adjacent villages, Ilaya, Nava and Tuburan, who will be directly benefited by this project, hundreds of daily commuters who prefer to take this shortcut route within the Southern Leyte Settlement Project (SLSP) from Hinunangan to St. Bernard or vice-versa will likewise be benefited.

DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu disclosed that the two projects have a combined cost of P17.6 million.

He further disclosed that there are now nine completed TPKP projects throughout the region.