Feature: Box culvert serves as gateway to isolated barangay
By Bong Pedalino
Brgy. Malbago, Bontoc, Southern Leyte (12 October) -- Provincial Gov. Rosette Lerias and Bontoc Mayor Pedro Fustanes, Jr. led other officials in cutting the ribbon and inauguration of a box culvert here October 11 which served as an easy access for vehicles entering or approaching this barangay from the river from now on.
Malbago Punong Barangay Reynaldo Castillo expressed his heartfelt thanks to Gov. Lerias and Mayor Fustanes for the realization of the project, but he also made use of the opportunity to air their desire to have a bridge constructed to cross the wide river leading to their barangay.
He said it would take four days for the river to slow down after a heavy, strong current during inclement weather, and in such time their barangay would be isolated.
Mayor Pedro Fustanes was visibly moved by the barangay official's appeal, saying he would try to find a budget soon so at least a hanging bridge can be installed for people to pass through in this interior barangay.
The area was included in the proposal for the President's Bridge Program together with barangay Hilaan but unfortunately it was learned that the said program was already stopped, Mayor Fustanes said.
Gov. Lerias, for her part, acknowledged that the new box culvert being blessed and inaugurated was considered "an extension of the life of people living in the barangay".
The Governor also made it a point to relate to the barangay folks her various activities to look for outside donors to help in responding to pressing needs of the various barangays in other towns of the province that had to be relocated elsewhere for fear of their lives during landslides.
"Thank God barangay Malbago is not included in the high risk area," Gov. Lerias said.
It was learned that the box culvert project was funded by the financial assistance from the municipality in the amount of P 100,000.00, while the provincial government through Gov. Lerias extended another P 113,000.00 fund assistance as well. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]