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Friday, July 24, 2009

Arroyo leads groundbreaking of provincial road in Bukidnon

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MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON— President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo received a very warm reception from the crowd, especially from the farmers group, as she lead the groundbreaking and time capsule-laying of the Damay-Kalampigan-Kalabugao road July 21, 2009 at Barangay Damay, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
In her speech during the program, President Arroyo congratulated Bukidnon Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr for carrying out an extremely good fiscal control and good track record in project management because these are the key factors considered to qualify for fund support by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
“Once completed, this road network will benefit over 4 million people in ten towns of Bukidnon. This provincial road does not only benefit farmers and villagers but also opens up other economic and social activities,” Gov. Zubiri said in an interview.
Containing a length of 39 kilometers, the Damay-Kalabugao road is actually part of a total of 160.835 km. from the 10 road sections in Bukidnon identified as “priority areas” for road rehabilitation works.
The PRMF in Bukidnon will be implemented iin a five-year period (2009-2014). These 10 areas are Impasug-ong, Kibawe, Sumilao, Kadingilan, Talakag, Valencia City, Quezon, Don Carlos, Cabanglasan and Maramag.
The road project is under the Southern Philippines Provincial Road Maintenance Program (SPPRMP) that covers ten provinces in Visayas and Mindanao and is funded with Aus$100 million (Php 3.5 billion) by AusAID.

The program is initially implemented in five (5) provinces in Mindanao, namely: Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Surigao del Norte; and two (2) in the Visayas: Bohol and Guimaras.

In an interview, the First Secretary of Australia Shayne McKenna said “three more beneficiary provinces are still to be identified under this road program.”
Australian Embassy Charge’ de Affairs Steven Scott, for his part, said, “Bukidnon is so blessed as one of the 10 lucky provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao who will benefit of the program. This is because of Bukidnon’s good record in planning and governance.”

Meanwhile, Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said in a press conference that “President Arroyo’s strong engagement with other countries abroad has kept our economy strong, bringing in new foreign investments and projects such as this event happening today in Bukidnon.” (Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy)