PGMA emphasizes infra development in Dinagat; orders DPWH to construct San Jose-Basilisa road

Basilisa, Dinagat Islands (April 17) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her speech during her visit to Basilisa town to inaugurate the P22.1 million Tag-iho bridge emphasized infrastructure development in the newly created province of Dinagat Islands, "what you need here is infrastructure, importante ang usa ka imprastruktura alang sa bag-o nga probinsya (infrastructure is important for a new province)."

Being one of the newest provinces in the country and being identified as one of the ten poorest provinces in the country, the President said that, "infrastructure is very important for our competitiveness and for equitable development."

Stressing that in order for new investments to come to the island, one must be competitive. "You cannot be competitive without decent roads. Importante sab sa (It is also important for) equitable development."

She underlined national infrastructure program of road networks designed to spur trade and economic progress in the most remote and poorest areas of the island. The President immediately ordered Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr to begin the soonest possible time the construction of Basilisa-San Jose national road, "we have to build the road from Basilisa to San Jose." The project will cost P200 million.

The President was also hoping to exclude the island province from the list of the 10 poorest provinces in the country. "Unta makatabang sa Dinagat, unta makatabang kaninyong tanan. Unta makagraduate kamo sa ten poorest provinces kining bag-o apan maanindot kayo nga probinsya sa Dinagat (I hope it can help Dinagat, I hope it can help you all. I hope you can graduate from the ten poorest provinces of this new but very beautiful province of Dinagat)."

Upon her arrival, the President, assisted by Sec. Ebdane, Dinagat Islands Gov. Geraldine Ecleo-Villaroman, Basilisa Mayor Floro Baltar, unveiled the marker of the 30.95 lineal meters Tag-iho steel bridge, which now connects the seven municipalities of this province and led the inaugural drive-thru to officially open the bridge.

The Tag-iho bridge, which was completed last April 3, is one of the UK-funded projects in the island and served as the vital link of the Dinagat Road Network. (Fryan E. Abkilan - PIA-Surigao del Norte/with Jose Jemuel Dael – PIA Caraga)

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