Project a Catalyst for Municipal-Provincial-National-Private Co-operation
“The reality of our dream has come true.”
That was how Mr. Venancio Cueno of “Z-gold” expressed his happiness at the realization of the Z-gold bridge, one of three new bridges resulting from the joint efforts of TVI and local, provincial and national authorities.
Story by Noelle Nazareno
Z-gold is part of sitio JS Perfecto, in RT Lim Municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay – east of Canatuan and on the road from the TVI Project to the east coast of the Zamboanga Peninsula.
The project resulted from a joint effort by TVI, the Municipality, the Province, and President Arroyo’s Southern Philippines Zone of Peace and Development program.
Mr. Cueno is one of the community leaders of JS Pefecto, and he was reflecting on how many years the people of JS Perfecto and all the other neighboring barangays have been in dire need of a bridge.
Barangay JS Perfecto, like many barangays in the region, has been shut out from its mother town by the Lituban River.
Barangay folks, mostly farmers, were having a hard time in transporting their produce to RT Lim on tabo day especially during rainy season because of the river.
“Rainy season is always the time of the year where many of our bananas often rot because the river swells ,” Mr. Cueno said.
The bridge problem – or rather the lack of a bridge – had also had an effect on the education of their children. During rainy season many students from their barangay were forced to miss school because they can’t cross the swelling river.
Rainy days bring additional burden to farmers in the barangay and adjacent barangays because their tomatoes just rot in the corner because they can’t bring the crop to Ipil or RT Lim.
The problem has been with them for many decades, until one day the dream bridge become a reality.The Z-gold Bridge is a product of strong cooperation among the local government unit of RT Lim, led by Mayor Danilo Piodena, TVI Resource Development Phils. Inc.led by Operations Manager Dewayne Chambers, and Southern Philippines Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD) projects of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In a meeting with Engr. Nercuit, Engr. Kagim Jajuri, project director of SZOPAD promised that he would finish the project within 45 days. And he did!! In just 45 days, the people of Canatuan, Mambong, Cuyan, JS Perfecto and adjacent barangays saw the beautiful, well-built bridge proudly connecting the barangay to its mother town.
SZOPAD started the construction of the bridge on the third week of November, last year. On December 23, it was inaugurated by Governor George Hofer of the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay. The inauguration was also attended by Mayor Piodena and town officials, as well as representatives of TVI.
In his speech, the governor thanked SZOPAD for a project well done. He also thanked the mayor who made a counterpart of the project by delivering truckloads of sand and gravel.
Mr. Hofer also acknowledged the contribution of TVI, which also made its share by contributing funding to the project.
“With the completion of the bridge, the problem of crossing the Lituban River is now a thing of the past,” commented a farmer from JS Perfecto.