PGMA inaugurates P143-M Las Navas Bridge in Northern Samar

June 16, 2009 10:53 am 

By Zorayda S. Tecson

LAS NAVAS, Northern Samar, June 16 -— Nineteen- year-old student Leslie Colapo and 27-year-old teacher Marco T. Tepace now do not have to endanger their lives every time they cross the perilous and tricky waters of the Catubig River here to attend to their daily activities.

For this, they profusely thanked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she inaugurated on Tuesday the P143.5-million Las Navas Bridge linking the municipalities of Las Navas and Catubig in this province.

“Thank you very much for all your support. This new bridge brings relief, safe and convenient travels to all of us,” said Colapo as she recalled her experiences of crossing the Catubig River through a small banca.

For Tepace, the new Las Navas Bridge is the fulfillment of their long-time dream. He said that prior to the construction of the bridge, he would report to school everyday at times traveling on road trails with knee-deep mud, especially on days when motorboats from Catubig to Las Navas did not depart on time.

“Passenger boats in the area have irregular departure schedules. So, I really needed to cross the river even when its current was strong just to get in time in the school,” he said.

"Thus, we would like to thank the President and her administration for giving us much attention through this vital project,” he said.

Colapo and Tepace are among the more than 30,000 residents of this fourth-class municipality who are indeed grateful for the construction of the new Las Navas Bridge, which they described as “a link to safety and progress.”

For the residents, the new bridge not only provides safety and convenience but most importantly, spurs socio-economic development in the municipality and neighboring areas.

Emmanuel Mercader, 49, a "habal-habal" driver of Barangay Poblacion, Las Navas, said the new bridge would translate to more earnings for him and his fellow divers as it would mean more trips and reduce travel time and depreciation costs.

Ronaldo del Rosario, a 65-year-old farmer, thanked the Chief Executive for the very valuable “gift,” referring to the new bridge which, he said, would greatly facilitate efficient and less costly delivery of their farm products to the market.

“Congratulations!I would like to thank you for this opportunity to inaugurate the Las Navas Bridge, one of the important components of the Help for Catubig Program,” the President told the residents who waited patiently for her arrival from Manila.

The Chief Executive led the unveiling of the project marker to signal the formal opening of the new Las Navas Bridge, which is one of the vital components of the government’s infrastructure program on Samar Island.

Construction of the Las Navas Bridge started on September 18, 2006 and was completed on May 25, 2009. It consists of four spans, 7.32-meter wide, with pre-stressed on concrete girder resting on bored pile foundation.

The P143.5-million bridge is a sub-component of the P519.66-million rural infrastructure projects under the P2.97-billion multisectoral Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Program (HCAAP).

The HCAAP is an agricultural and rural development project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is designed to initiate sustainable agricultural and economic development in the Catubig Valley and in the whole province of Northern Samar that would bring about improvement in the quality of life to the farming communities in 71 barangays in the municipalities of Catubig and Las Navas. (PNA)

scs/ZST

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