ALABEL, Sarangani (March 5, 2020) – Malapatan Mayor Salway Sumbo Jr. and officers of the Philippine Army – 52nd Engineer Brigade and 512th Engineer Construction Battalion signed the inter local agency partnership agreement for the opening of a road to barangay Kinam via Daan Suyan on March 4.
According to Captain John Colbe Sepulchre, Civil-Military Operations Officer of 512th ECB, “to construct and rehabilitate infrastructure projects” is the unit’s primary mission as a construction battalion.
As stated in the agreement signed by both parties, “the residents of the barangays have been suffering for more than a decade due to armed conflict between NPA rebels and government troops, which hampered the delivery of basic social services to the people in the identified barangays.” As such, the road-opening project is conceived and approved.
“When it comes to development support for the local government units, diyan po kami papasok,” Sepulchre said during the agreement signing.
“So ngayon po is itong project na road-opening from barangay Daan Suyan papuntang barangay Kinam, wherein walang existing na kalsada at doon sa area, dadaan ka pa po ng ilog,” Sepulchre said.
Kinam is said to be the second biggest and most populated barangay in Malapatan, according to Mayor Sumbo, and is one of the major suppliers of abaca, upland rice, copra and corn in the province and in General Santos City.
“Kung meron na po tayong kalsada, at least yung flow po ng produkto, yung commerce, mai-improve po natin, pati yung kabuhayan ng mga tao,” Sepulchre said when asked about the economic impact of the project to the beneficiary.
Sepulchre also believed that “the educational system is good” in Kinam but saw the problem of the “lack of access to information and access to additional educational support,” which will also be addressed by the project.
“Meron po tayong partner dito, ang 73rd Infantry Battalion, sila naman po papasok sa security aspect which is sa peace and order po ng area,” Sepulchre said.
According to Sepulchre, the 512th ECB has been partnering with Sarangani for a long time and has already done several projects in other municipalities like Glan, Malungon, and Maasim, and said that they are delighted that Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon has given them another opportunity “to help and to partner with in this endeavour.”
On the other hand, Mayor Sumbo has pointed out the “commitment sa government side in terms sa support sa fuel, lubricants, at iba pang construction materials,” including the repair and maintenance of equipment, as said in the agreement, in the implementation of the project.
Sumbo also said that Congressman Ruel Pacquiao and Senator Manny Pacquiao have committed P250M for the concreting of the said roads.
Sumbo expressed his gratitude to the partners and looked forward to the ceremonial groundbreaking of the project early this month. (Jori Mae Samillano/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)