P 154 Million Bridge Connects Far-Flung Community to Opportunities

Newly constructed 150.28 meter-long, two-lane Pre-stressed Concrete Girder (PSCG) Bridge in Barangay San Pedro, Caraga, designed to withstand heavy floods.

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Hundreds of families living across the Caraga River in the village of San Pedro in Caraga town are relieved as the many years of struggle crossing the vast river are finally over.

Just recently, a P154 million concrete bridge was inaugurated in this far-flung community whose residents are mostly farmers.

Funded under the “Pablo Rehabilitation Fund”, the bridge’s construction was an initiative of Davao Oriental’s Former Governor, now First District Representative Corazon N. Malanyaon. The project was started in 2014 during her term as Governor and Chairman of the Taskforce Pablo in the province and was completed in 2016. 

First District Representative Corazon N. Malanyaon

According to residents, the village’s Bailey bridge which was built in 2001 was severely damaged during the onslaught of typhoon Pablo in 2012. It was subsequently repaired but was completely washed out when Low-Pressure Area Agaton hit the province in 2014, causing residents to endure several years crossing the river via wooden fishing boats as a mode of transportation.

Structurally designed to adapt to the changes in climate conditions, the newly constructed 150.28 meter-long, two-lane Pre-stressed Concrete Girder (PSCG) Bridge is designed to withstand heavy floods said District Engineer Alberto Cainghog of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Residents recall the struggles they have experienced before the concrete bridge was constructed. They say people have actually drowned crossing the river before. “It was really difficult back then. Once I swam across and nearly drowned. We used empty water containers as a buoy to keep us afloat,” recalls one resident, adding that the river gets even more dangerous during heavy downpour as the level of water rises.

With the construction of the bridge, the five sub-villages (sitio) namely Catigud, Pakahon, Tubod, Boa, and Batiano situated on the other side of the river will hugely benefit.

Isaac Mariano of Sitio Boa said the bridge will definitely help the people in his community especially the children going to school. “Now we no longer have to worry about how our children get to school safely and on time,” he said.

Farmers living across the river are overwhelmed by the breakthrough project which they say will help cut transportation time and cost. “We can now transport our farm produce without the risk of damaging them and without spending too much,” Mariano added, saying the bridge hastens the transportation and marketing of the farm products to the town.

The bridge is also improving access to government services. Clemencia Monday from Sitio Tubod said they will no longer have to worry about not being able to avail services from the government because they can now be easily reached on the other side.

Punong Barangay Ramoncita Balante thanked Cong. Malanyaon for initiating ways to implement such big-ticket infrastructure project in her village.  “The bridge will not only help in opening opportunities but will help a lot in times of emergencies,” she said.

Cong. Malanyaon said the bridge is a symbol of the people’s unity and the convergence of all agencies of the government, emphasizing that no one should be left behind in terms of development.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, who graced the occasion, urged residents to continue supporting the government in its programs. He vowed that the Provincial Government together with all stakeholders will continue to make efforts to create more development and provide more opportunities for the people in the countryside. By Karen Lou Deloso/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan





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