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PIA Press Release

PGMA leads groundbreaking ceremony of P1.5-b road project in Davao Norte

KAPALONG, Davao del Norte (9 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led yersterday the groundbreaking ceremony of the P1.5-billion Kapalong-Talaingod-Valencia City-Bukidnon road, a major component of the government's "infrastructure surge" program this year.

Under the "infrastructure surge" program, 3,000 kilometers of roads will be constructed all over the country this year alone under a P200-billion spending program.

The 58-kilometer road project here merited a special mention by the President in her State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) last July as an important component of her administration's overall efforts to develop Mindanao, reduce poverty and hunger and attract investments into the region.

The project entails the improvement and concreting of the 58-kilometer road section stretching from Kapalong and Talaingod in this province to the Davao del Norte-Bukidnon boundary in Valencia, Bukidnon.

Included in the project is the construction of six bridges.

The President pointed out that the project is part of the 3,000 kilometers of vital road networks the national government is constructing this year.

"And this P1.5 billion (road project) is a part of the P200 billion we are allocating for infrastructure," she said.

The road project also forms part of the inter-regional link connecting two of the country's major arterial roads - the Pan-Philippine Highway (Davao-Agusan Road) in Region XI and Sayre Highway in Bukidnon (Region X).

The new route will also serve as an alternate road to the Davao-Calinan-Bukidnon Road and Agusan Road (Daang Maharlika) and would cut travel time between the two points by three hours.

The President arrived at 12:30 p.m. and was welcomed in Barangay Tiborcia here by some 300 residents and local officials led by Kapalong Mayor Edgardo Timbol, Talaingod Mayor Pilar Libayao, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region XI Director Jerome dela Rosa, and DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut.

Accompanying the President were DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Ariel Olano, and 2nd District Rep. Antonio Lagdameo.

The President led the capsule laying ceremonies and struck the "agong" as a signal to members of the Mandaya and Ata-Manobo tribes to perform the thanksgiving ritual for the construction of the road and bridge projects. (OPS) [top]

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