AFP engineers complete rehab of 29.3-km Basilan circumferential road

December 26, 2010 12:33 pm 

By Marimar Rosario

MANILA, Dec. 26 — Instead of coming out with guns and armor to contain terrorists’ threat in Basilan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed its engineering corps to complete a 29.3-kilometer portion of the 135-kilometer Basilan circumferential road to spur economic development on the island province.

The multi-million pesos worth of rehabilitation of the Tipo-Tip-Maluso road was funded by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFP).

The project was jointly undertaken by the Engineer Task Force “Kaunlaran Basilan” composed of the Engineer Maintenance Support Battalion, 55th Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army and the 1st Naval Mobile Construction Battalion of the Naval Construction Brigade of the Philippine Navy under the supervision of the National Development Support Command of the AFP.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo A. David Jr. said the project is a manifestation of the government’s concern for the people of Basilan where the terrorists Abu Sayyaf are being hunted down by government forces.

The circumferential road project is being rehabilitated to spur economic growth in Basilan and its neighboring island provinces.

The completion of the project has greatly reduced the transport of agricultural products brought by farmers to the market, thus prices of prime commodities have also gone down.

The Basilan circumferential road project is a major infrastructure initiative of the government to bring prosperity in the province even as government continues its campaign against local terrorism and lawlessness.

Good roads will also provide the people of Basilan with greater access to livelihood opportunities, education, health and other social services.

The rehabilitation of Tipo-Tipo Maluso Road Section started last January with an initial funding of P2 million from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).   It is part of the P2.2 billion road program for Mindanao funded by SFP.

The 135-kilometer long circumferential road is divided into six sections: Umayam in Maluso; Lagayas and Camalig in Tipo-Tipo; Tumahubong; Canas-Cabcaban-Libug-Benembengan; and Abong-abong-Pal-Dikit in Sumisip. (PNA)

DCT/RBC/MR

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