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PIA Press Release

PGMA opens new bridge in Dapitan City

Opao, Dapitan City (19 May) -- "I won't be late to school anymore."

This was her answer to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when Dianne Mae Diao, 15, was asked by the President about the benefits she would get from the newly constructed bridge in her barangay.

The President was here yesterday as guest of honor in the inauguration of the two-lane steel truss type bridge which was completed in January this year.

The new bridge, which is right beside the old one-lane bridge, would now help decongest the road traffic along the national highway from Zamboanga del Norte to the neighboring province of Misamis Occidental.

Diao used to commute to her school in the next municipality of Rizal and often got stuck whenever heavy traffic occurred at the one-lane bridge especially during peak hours.

A certain construction worker known as Andin Sumil, on the other hand, told President Arroyo that he was grateful for the bridge project because it gave him the opportunity to work as a laborer. His income before he was hired as a construction worker was only P2 thousand a month.

According to Undersecretary Bashir Rasuman of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) the Opao bridge will serve as a catalyst for economic growth and development as it connects the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental to other parts of Mindanao as well as to the Visayas and Luzon via roll-on, roll-off port facilities which have also been given priority by the Arroyo government.

The Opao bridge is a joint project of the national government and the United Kingdom (UK) through its bridge program. Its construction started in 2006 with an appropriation of P71.038 million.

President Arroyo has been to this province several times and the latest of these visits were in Baliguian and Tampilisan last March 11 and Kalawit last April 26.

In her visit here yesterday, the President was met at the Dipolog Airport by Zamboanga del Norte Governor Rolando E. Yebes, Congresswoman Cecilia Jalosjos-Carreon, Congressman Cesar Jalosjos, Misamis Occidental Congresswoman Herminia Ramiro and Congressman-elect George Almonte. (PIA-ZN) [top]

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