Catamco inaugurates P40-million Guangan bridge in NoCot

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MAKILALA, NORTH COTABATO — After a year of devastation brought about by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake, today North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco inaugurates the P40-million worth of bridge in Guangan.

Guangan is a small village considered as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA), found at the borders of the towns in North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and Maguindanao.

The bridge serves as the gateway and the nearest access to the town cutting travel time by over an hour.

Residents of the said village have long felt outcast and the Guangan bridge described by the residents as ‘overflow’ or spillover bridge, which was built in 1974 has long been unkempt by the provincial government but lowly folks maintained what they considered a treasure through Bayanihan and cash from the meager barangay fund.

The 2019 earthquake damaged the hanging bridge and the overspill.-Newsline.ph Photo

Guangan was declared no man’s land in the early 80’s due to the sporadic war between the then Ilaga (Ilonggo vigilante group)and the Moro bandits given its geographical location and the terrain.

The 2019 earthquake rendered the ‘overspill’ bridge almost totally damaged but Senator Bong Go, who was informed by Newsline.ph about the importance of the bridge, facilitated the release of the P40-million fund from the Department of Public Works and Highways through the disaster fund.

Catamco and Second District Congressman Rudy Caoagdan have collaborated to ask for funding of said bridge, which the Office of the President granted given the importance of the bridge.

On Sunday, Catamco graced the ‘thanksgiving and inauguration’ of the long-dreamed bridge.

In her message Catamco said “As the mother of the province, the devastation has prompted me to be strong to source out for funds, connecting to different funding agencies and benevolent donors. Today, I thank President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Go for considering our request, this small and neglected bridge has finally been part of the country’s development”.

The Guangan river is the laundry area for almost half of the 205 households, especially on a Sunday.-Newsline.ph photo

Guangan, according to Catamco is a small village “but this village, and this bridge serve as the gateway for the residents of Barangays Bacong in Davao del Sur, Batang, New Caridad, Banayal, Bituan, and Banayal via Lunar Sur as the gateway to reach Makilala town center and your easiest route to reach Davao del Sur and Davao City”.

The earthquake, according to the Governor was a big challenge to all Cotabateños, “But our unity, our determination and collective effort as one province has led us to become stronger and bounce back after the storms of our lives, the earthquake has left us with almost nothing but here we are today— united and strong as we recover from what we lost”.

(L-R seated) Guangan Barangay Captain Armando Yabut, North Cotabato Governor Nancy A. Catamco, and Luna Sur Barangay Victor Captain Sumalinog.

Guangan Barangay Captain Armando Yabut in his message said he could not believe that the residents dream has turned into reality “Wala gyud diay mi pasagdi sa gobierno, amo na nga nakita karon nga naa diay mi sa ilang prioridad (We are never left alone, we see it now that we are part of their priority)”.

Luna Sur Barangay Captain Victor Sumalinog, a retired military officer, in his message recalled “Guangan bridge claimed the lives of my four companions. We were on operations and we water suddenly went up, five of my companions drowned, I am one of the four survivors, I was clinging on a rattan trunk, the new bridge is a big help to the seven barangays and for my barangay (constituents) too”.

Yabut thank Catamco and Caoagdan, “maskin lainlain sila og partido pero nagusa sila tungod sa ilang gugma sa katawhan . . . Salamat kaayo Gob Nancy ug Cong Rudy sa inyong pagmahal ug pagdungog sa among problema (Even if they belong to different parties they unite because they love the people, thank you Guv Catamco and Congressman Rudy for the love and for listening to our problem) “.

“Kang President Duterte ug kang Senator Bong Go, wala man mo namu nakauban dinhi, pero dili namo puede malimtan ang inyong tabang namo, magpabilin kini sa among dughan (To Presidente Duterte and Senator Bong Go, you are not here, but we will not forget your help, it will remain in our hearts).” Catamco also asked the residents to support the government in all its endeavors.

Yabut and Catamco thanked Newsline.ph “For helping the provincial government in sourcing out funds for the project.”-ezc/Newsline.ph

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