BUTUAN CITY – A highway-skyway road project in Caraga, which is under the “Build Build Build” program being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), has started to provide hope for the Manobo, Mamanwa, and other highland tribes in the region.
Workers of the DPWH have noted that highlanders have been watching and inquiring about the ongoing ground works for the Cabadbaran City-Puting Bato (Agusan del Norte)-Lanuza (Surigao del Sur) Road (CPBLR) project, which is right on target of hitting its timeline of completion.
The highland tribes have regarded the CPBLR as a piece by piece realization of their dream to link their mountain range villages to the lowlands.
CPBLR is a multi-year project that will connect Agusan del Norte from Junction Daang Maharlika (Cabadbaran City) to Junction Surigao-Davao Coastal Road (Lanuza).
It involves the construction of 77.578 kilometers in roads (35.424 km Agusan del Norte and 35.978 km Surigao Del Sur), two bridges – Lusong Bridge (Agusan del Norte) and another proposed bridge in Surigao del Sur.
“We are on right track and the construction is ongoing despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis,” said DPWH 13 Regional Director Engr. Pol M. Delos Santos, in his progress report to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar on Tuesday. The CPBLR project started in 2015.
He said that with the additional release of P240 million for the physical accomplishment of the project will add 2.658 kilometers of concrete road, and 2.400 kilometers of gravel road.
This will total to 26.374 km of concrete road and 15.590 km of gravel road with the Lusong bridge.
“This will surely boost agriculture, tourism and commerce and trade when completed,” Delos Santos said.
“But above all, it will fulfill President Duterte’s promise to help our indigenous people in highland communities in bringing their farm products easily to the market,” the region’s top DPWH 13 official said.
CPBLR is a vital missing link needed to completely develop the rural areas in Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region), particularly the agricultural and tourism-rich provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
Commuters using this road net-work will have a feeling of taking a trip on a highway-skyway where you could see the mountain as it seems to touch the sky, streams with strong flowing water, and other scenes in the countryside that will provide a relaxing and safe riding experience to travelers.
In the future scenario, the Manobo and Mamanwa tribes and highland Bisayan people will no longer be deprived communities, but will become progressive as their villages in the mountain ranges, particularly in the Lusong area, will be linked to the lowlands.
“Under the Build Build Build program, DPWH intends to fill road network gaps to usher the remotest areas in the region towards socio-economic development and integral sustainability,” Villar said.