The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently inaugurated the Katimbang Bridge that would link up local residents to Sitio Katimbang in Brgy. San Ramos, Nagtipunan, Quirino.
Regional Director Atty. Marjorie P. Ayson said the Php124.28-million project turned out to be DAR’s biggest Infrastructure project in the country, courtesy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through its Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP) now on its third phase implementation.
She said the 570-meter long bridge helps improve the mobility of the townspeople, who relied heavily on old wooden rafts to ferry residents and their farm produce across the Nagtipunan River and to the market.
Pedro Pandongit, QFMPC Chairman of the Board said, “The bridge helps a lot during emergency cases. It also hastens the transportation and marketing of the farm products to the neighboring town of Maddela and the neighboring province of Nueva Vizcaya. Local residents used to use bancas and ferry boats as mode of transportation through the Nagtipunan River.”
DAR Undersecretary, Herman Z. Ongkiko and JICA representative, C.R.Niwa, led the turn-over ceremonies of the Katimbang bridge last Feb. 9, at Sitio Katimbang, San Ramos, in Quirino province together with Assistant Secretary for Foreign Assisted Project Services Office Herminia Fe B. San Juan, PMS Director Ma. Celerina G. Afable and Engr. Cristina Dagdag.
Regional Director Atty. Marjorie P. Ayson, Provincial Officer, Arthur E. Faeldon and Assistant Regional Directors Paramon Furigay and Jessbeth Quidasol were also present during the simple rites.
In the same occasion, the DAR also turned over a post harvest facility to the Quirino Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (QFMPC). The facility and the Katimbang bridge would greatly help enhance the agri-businesses that the cooperatives are pursuing.
Niwa said that he is proud of the accomplishment made by the DAR and partner agencies as one of the large scale projects under ARISP III intended for the agrarian reform communities and for rural development.
He urged the LGU, community and all stakeholders to help in the maintenance of the bridge so that it would last longer.
USEC Ongkiko acknowledged the partnership of DPWH, DENR and NIA for the construction of the infra projects.
He thanked Mayor Rosario Camma of Nagtipunan and Governor Junie Cua for the local government’s 30% share of the total cost serving as its counterpart equity. He assured the QFMPC of the continuity of support projects to the agrarian reform community.
“The project is of great help to the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and the 911 constituents of Sitio Katimbang, San Ramos, Nagtipunan,” brgy chairman, Oscar Ballesteros said. (Ditas Cadiente)