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PIA Press Release

Bishop says PGMA's road project, a sign of love for Novo Vizcayanos

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya (May 25) -- Bishop Ramon Villena here has praised President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the completion of a road project linking upland farmers to the lowland urban towns here.

Speaking during a program Monday on the formal inauguration of the P330 million Bitnung-Belance farm-to-market road project in barangay Belance here which was attended by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Villena said the president's unpopular decisions will also prove her critics wrong.

"There are critics but they do not have evidence while your administration has a lot of evidences to show that your love to serve is strong," he said.

The more than 13 kilometer Bitnung-Belance road project is part of President Arroyo's accomplishments under the North Luzon Agri-business Quadrangle (NLAQ) which seeks to harness the potentials of North Luzon as agri-business hub of the country.

Villena also thanked Arroyo for fulfilling her promise to complete the project before her term ends to help upland farmers in bringing their products easier to the market.

"This road will always remind me of our friendship, love and concern for the indigenous people. As you end your term, bring with you our love, gratitude and appreciation," he said.

The bishop said the road project was Arroyo's greatest gift of legacy to the indigenous people in barangay Belance and its adjacent barangays.

The road project was started in November 6, 2008 after it was committed in that same year by President Arroyo in her visit to the 68th birthday of Bishop Villena.

Used by upland indigenous farmers in transporting their products, the project was funded under the General Appropriations Act - Regular Infrastructure Program (GAA-RIP).

It went into three construction phases with concreting of 5.22 kilometers in 2008 with P130 million, asphalting of 3.242 kilometer road with P100 million and the asphalting of 4.732 kilometer road with P100 million.

"This road project does not only help farmers in transporting their products but will also trigger other economic activities particularly fruit and vegetable trading in the municipalities of Bambang, Bayombong, Aritao and Solano," stressed Engr. Marifel Andes.

She added that the road project will also encourage the opening of new businesses in barangay Belance like transport, retail and commerce and will open new jobs due to the entry of new investments in the area.

Aside from farmers within barangay Belance, the road will also serve other villagers in barangays Bitnung, Oyao and Macabenga. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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