Better Oton-San Miguel road boon to travelers, farmers

PIA Press Release 2009/07/28

Better Oton-San Miguel road boon to travelers, farmers

Iloilo City (28 July) -- Farmers from food-producing barangays of Oton and San Miguel would now find it easier to bring their products to the markets with the concreting of the road running through the two adjacent municipalities of Iloilo.

This, according to Oton mayor Vincent Flores, is one of the numerous benefits that would be endowed by the road concreting of the road, which was chiefly intended to serve as a major access road to the new Iloilo airport of international standards between Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara towns.

Flores said this is the first time that the road has been upgraded with concrete pavement since it was constructed decades ago.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo inspected the ongoing project on Tuesday, July 28, a day after delivering her ninth State of the Nation Address (SONA) before a joint session of Congress.

The road has a total length of 8 kilometers but the scope of the project inspected by President Arroyo runs for 3.5 kms. from Barangay Mambog, Oton to Brgy. San Jose, San Miguel with a contract cost of P57.8 million out of a funding earmarked for the project amounting to P60 million.

As of July 24 this year, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Director Rolando Asis said work on the project was already 97.09 percent complete, or 15.49 percent ahead of its scheduled completion in September this year.

In her SONA this year, President Arroyo cited as among her accomplishments the establishment of farm-to-market roads alongside roads and bridges that DPWH has implemented as part of the President's overall SONA targets since 2001.

Mambog Punong Barangay Christopher John Azucena pointed out that with the concreting of the road, residents of barangays along the road will now find it more convenient and faster to travel, minus the dust.

President Arroyo was only originally set to drive through the project from the Iloilo airport. However, the Chief Executive took time from her itinerary, that also took her to Guimbal and Cabatuan towns and Iloilo City, to be apprised about the status of the project at Brgy. Tagbac Sur, which lies at the Oton end of the entire 8-km road, by DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut.

Afterwards, she addressed an audience composed of town officials and employees, barangay officials, health workers and residents, farmers, teachers, students, barangay tanods, and transport sector representatives to explain how the project would benefit them.

There are also P18 million worth of works being undertaken to enhance the road system, with P30 million more to be released by the national government for additional works to fully complete the project, according to Yabut.

The road would also make access to the airport easier, faster and more convenient for people from Oton and other southern Iloilo towns. Another access road to the airport from this part of Iloilo province is the Tigbauan-Leon road, which also passes through San Miguel town.

The President was accompanied during the project inspection by Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas Raul Banias, Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas, First District Congresswoman Janette L. Garin, and Third District Congressman Arthur Defensor, among other officials.

In Guimbal, the President led the groundbreaking of the P60-million Camangahan Bridge along the road linking Guimbal and Tubungan towns. Before returning to Metro Manila, she also inspected the ongoing rehabilitation works on Amira Bridge that was damaged by typhoon "Frank" last year. (PIA 6)

Cabatuan, Iloilo, Philippines - Timeline 2009