JAVIER, Leyte – Residents of Barangay Magsaysay and nearby villages in this fourth-class municipality applauded with joy as they witnessed last week’s inauguration and turnover of a bridge that would change their everyday lives.
In his welcome message, Magsaysay Barangay Chairman Raul Abueva said school children would now be able to attend their classes regularly even during rainy days.
For Carmelita Mamalias, transporting farm products would be a lot easier now.
Mamalias shared that prior to the construction of this bridge, residents in the area crossed the stream through a spillway which is flooded during heavy rains making it impassable.
Undersecretary Bernie Cruz of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) led the inauguration and turnover of the first “Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo” project implemented in Eastern Visayas.
Cruz disclosed that the ₱9.7-million project was funded under the French Government through Compagnie Francaise d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE).
He further disclosed that the 28-linear meter bridge, implemented in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), used pre-fabricated materials imported from France.
Thus, Cruz reminded the recipients to take care of the project and maintain it so it could be used by the next generations.
According to him, the materials used in this project are the same materials used in the construction of the Eifel Tower.
“Kapag hinawakan niyo ang tulay, parang nakarating na rin kayo sa France at tinitingnan yung tore,” Cruz jokingly said during the occasion.
Meanwhile, OIC-Project Director Rodrigo Delos Reyes of the DPWH advised the residents in the area to report to the local government unit any damage seen in the project so it could immediately be repaired.
In acceptance, Mayor Michael Dragon Javier repeatedly thanked DAR and DPWH officials that, finaly, the bridge, which according to him, was requested in 2013 by his father, Leonardo Javier Jr., the former mayor, is now being inaugurated.
Javier stressed the benefit this bridge would bring to his town.
“This is a sign of progress, a sign of success for this town,” he said.
About 10,000 residents from this barangay and five other nearby villages are expected to be benefited by this project, wherein 293 are agrarian reform beneficiaries.
With this bridge, this area becomes an alternate route in going to adjacent municipality, Abuyog.
Joining Javier in accepting the project was Leyte’s fifth district representative, Carl Nicolas Cari, who also committed to help in the maintenance of the project.
Javier likewise acknowledged, during the said occasion, previous projects DAR poured in this municipality, which included six farm-to-market roads with a combined amount of ₱96.8-million.