DA-funded bridges improve lives of Sagay City residents

DA-funded bridges improve lives of Sagay City residents

BACOLOD CITY – Two major bridge projects in Sagay City, Negros Occidental province under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) are seen to improve the lives of residents and farmers in the upland communities of the northern Negros city.

The newly-inaugurated P76.2 million Himogaan Bridge in Barangay Bato, which was opened on Wednesday, connects Barangays Bato and Baviera, creating easier access to upland villages such as Sewahon, Colonia Divina, and some barangays in the neighboring Cadiz City.

The soon-to-be constructed PHP62.8-million Himogaan Bridge III will be located in Barangay Puey and will soon provide easier routes coming from Barangay Bato and the lowland barangays of Sagay, according to a media release on Thursday. 

Himoga-an is the biggest river in Sagay City, crossing towards going Barangay Old Sagay and exiting the Visayan Sea.

For Baviera village chief Eleno Tronzon, the opening of Himogaan Bridge is the solution to their almost five decades of struggle of crossing the overflow to get to the other side of the river.

He added that since 1974, many accidents took place at the Himoga-an River, including 50 lives lost during flash floods and heavy rains.

“If there are emergencies, we need to cross the harsh overflow. Families have been suffering from this problem and all of these will be resolved by opening the bridge,” Baviera said.

Farmer Manitho Mahilum, who hails from Barangay Colonia Divina, said their lives changed when the government came in to develop agriculture in the area.

“We are thankful to the help of DA as they changed our norm here by introducing agriculture projects and letting us cultivate our own farms by growing more crops and produce,” he added.

Under the DA-PRDP, 80 percent of the project was funded by World Bank.

The provincial government and the DA provided a counterpart of 10 percent each.

In a statement on Wednesday, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson acknowledged that many lives have been lost in the area before the bridge was built.

“More than saving lives, the infrastructure will help in ensuring food security in the area and the city in general. Let’s continue the bridge programs here in Sagay City,” he said.

DA-Western Visayas Acting Regional Director Barrogo said the communities benefiting from the construction of the bridge should play their role in taking care of the infrastructure.

Councilor Perfecto Marañon, chairperson of the committee on agriculture, said the opening of the Himoga-an Bridge will help Sagay City achieve rice sufficiency in two to three years.

“Right now, the city is 85 percent rice sufficient. Himoga-an Bridge will bring more opportunities to the upland communities to improve their lives,” he added. (PNA)

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