Talaingod-Bukidnon Road to spur dev't, cut travel time
by JMD Abangan
KAPALONG, Davao del Norte (12 February) -- Seventy-year old Datu Linasod Sibogan used to walk his way for a day, following trails in crossing mountains and creeks from Talaingod, Davao del Norte to get to Bukidnon.
His travel would no longer be a travail now that the Talaingod-Bukidnon Road is up for improvement and concreting.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last week led the ground-breaking ceremony commencing the P1.5 billion 58-kilometer road project expected to spur economic activities between the two provinces particularly along the areas it traverses.
Sibogan is hopeful that the Ata-Manobo communities of Talaingod could also benefit from the road infrastructure development.
"Dili na unya lisod ang pagdala sa among mga ani kay may karsada na man. (It would no longer be difficult for us to transport our harvests because there will be road we can take.)," he said.
He is also looking at getting a much better public impression on peace and order in Talaingod as he sees the road to open up areas where rebels used to set up their lairs. "Mangawala na sila. (They would then leave)," he said.
Other than economic prospects, the Talaingod-Bukidnon Road improvement and concreting is considered as an important section of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway traversing Butuan City to Davao City and that of the Sayre Highway along Valencia City in Bukidnon going to Cagayan de Oro City.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) sees it as a key alternate road when major incidents would cause road bottlenecks along Sayre and Phil-Japan Friendship highways.
Travelers would also be able to save two and a half hours in going to Cagayan de Oro City from Davao City and vice versa, should they take the Talaingod-Bukidnon Road, much lesser than the time they spend traveling through Davao-Calinan-Bukidnon Road.
A State of the Nation Address (SONA) commitment of President Arroyo, the Talaingod-Bukidnon Road Project forms part of the 3,000-kilometer stretch of roads set this year for concreting and improvement that would get funding P200 billion funding.
President Arroyo has ordered a surge in infrastructure projects whose funding largely comes from DPWH.
Other infrastructure commitment of President Arroyo in Davao Region are the Davao-Surigao Coastal Road and the expansion of Sasa Wharf.
Part of the these are the 87 farm-to-market roads spread in the four provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Compostela Valley in Region 11
More than 500 Botica ng Barangay are also set up in the region (most of which are in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley) and 400 Tindahan Natin which sell rice and other basic commodities at much lower prices. (PIA XI) [top]