Reconstructed Cabiao bridge inaugurated
() - September 14, 2008 - 12:00am

CABIAO, Nueva Ecija - President Arroyo inaugurated here Friday a newly rehabilitated P100-million bridge which was one of the infrastructures destroyed when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1990.

The P100-million Cabiao bridge, which has since been renamed Sen. Gaudencio Antonino Bridge, was unveiled by Mrs. Arroyo in ceremonies in Barangay Sta. Isabel here. She was assisted by Antonino’s son, fourth district Rep. Rodolfo “Rody” Antonino.

The 168-linear meter bridge, which connects barangays San Carlos and Sta. Isabel, serves as alternate route to the adjacent southern municipalities of Jaen, San Antonio and Zaragoza.

The trade route between this town and San Antonio serviced by the bridge was destroyed when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. The bridge was subsequently brought down by flash floods caused by illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains.

Antonino said the bridge, which was finished only in November, costs P100 million, P60 million of which came from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The Chief Executive in her speech following the inauguration of the bridge, extolled the late senator Antonino after whom it was named, for his being a fiscalizer during the time of her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal. Macapagal and Antonino were allies.

She said she admired the senator for opposing gargantuan congressional allowances which sparked a national controversy. As a result of his fiscalizing and the public support it generated, the bill appropriating the allowances was vetoed.

The senator, a civil engineering graduate of the University of the Philippines who placed 7th in the board examinations, was first elected in 1961 and became chairman of the Senate committees on public works and communications and national defense security.

He was seeking reelection when he was killed in a helicopter crash on Nov. 30, 1967, barely a day before the elections. His place was taken by his wife Magnolia who placed third in the senatorial race.

Mrs. Arroyo said the bridge should not only serve as a reminder of the legacies of senator Antonino but also of the hard decisions her administration had to make to ensure the delivery of services to the people.

Mrs. Arroyo later motored to Jaen town as special guest during the birthday party of Rep. Antonino where she announced the grant of P1 million worth of fertilizer subsidy to 1,000 Nueva Ecija farmers.

She also distributed PhilHealth cards, scholarship vouchers, checks for micro-financing and barangay patrols to officials and residents.

She was accompanied in the trip here by Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, Vice Gov. Edward Thomas Joson and Mayors Santy Austria of Jaen and Garcia of Cabiao. – Manny Galvez and Ric Sapnu

ANTONINO BARANGAY STA BRIDGE CHIEF EXECUTIVE DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON LORELEI FAJARDO EDWARD THOMAS JOSON AND MAYORS SANTY AUSTRIA OF JAEN AND GARCIA OF CABIAO GAUDENCIO ANTONINO BRIDGE JAEN MACAPAGAL AND ANTONINO MRS. ARROYO MT. PINATUBO
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