63-kilometer road to link Lanao del Sur, Bukidnon
John Unson (Philstar.com) - August 31, 2015 - 12:47am

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines — Residents in two towns where a 63-kilometer road project will connect to Bukidnon are sure the completion of the arterial infrastructure will generate for them more livelihood opportunities.

Officials on Monday said the project, which has a P220 million allocation from the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, will link Lanao del Sur's Kapai and Tagoloan towns to Talakag, Bukidnon, which is under Administrative Region 10.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamimtal Adiong, Jr. and Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao launched the project in early August as a tie-up peace and development initiative.

"This is a much awaited project. This will connect our agricultural lands to the markets in Bukidnon, where we can sell our farm products," Maranaw farmer Saidale, a father of six, on Monday said in the local dialect.

More than 10 kilometers of the 63-kilometer proposed road had been concreted, according to local officials.

Sameer, a 43-year-old farmer in Tagoloan, said he is thankful to the ARMM government and to Adiong for embarking on the road project.

"We are confident the high cost of hauling of our farm products to the markets will go down once this road is fully constructed," he said in Filipino, in heavy Maranaw accent.

Salma Sariguidan, a mother of four, said they can even haul farm products to the markets even during rainy days once the 63-kilometer road project is done.

"There were times we failed to deliver our corn grains to the market on time due to heavy rains because we don't have all weather roads here," she said.

The office of Adiong, now on his third and last term as governor, will contribute some amount for the project, according to sources from the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways in the autonomous region.

Engineer Don Mustapha Loong, regional secretary of DPWH-ARMM, on Monday said the project will complement the economic aspect of President Benigno Aquino III's Mindanao peace process.

"It will link the local Maranaw business communities to their non-Muslim counterparts in Bukidnon, which is a gateway to Cagayan de Oro City, the capital of Region 10," Loong said.

Hataman, Loong and Adiong had signed an agreement binding their offices to cooperate in ensuring the completion of the road project before end of 2016.

The project, funded out of the ARMM's yearly infrastructure subsidy with corresponding counterpart from the provincial government of Lanao del Sur, is being implemented under the supervision of engineer Luz Sani.

Sani is chief of Lanao del Sur's 1st District Engineering Office, which is operating under Loong's ministerial control.

The DWPH-ARMM has dozens of costly infrastructure projects in the first and second districts of Lanao del Sur, home to ethnic Maranaws, a large ethnic group in the autonomous region.

ADIONG ADMINISTRATIVE REGION AUTONOMOUS REGION BUKIDNON DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS DISTRICT ENGINEERING OFFICE LANAO MARANAW MUSLIM MINDANAO PROJECT QUOT
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