NATONIN, Mountain Province – With much thanksgiving and appreciation, the officialdom and people of the three eastern municipalities of Barlig, Paracelis, and this town voiced their elation over the expected benefits from the opening of the Mountain Province Second District Engineering Office (MPSDEO).
The new engineering office in the province formally opened on November 21, 2016, by Regional Director Danilo Dequito of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), regional director from the DPWH-CAR.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, named guest of honor and speaker, did not show up for the occasion.
District Engineer Wilbur Likigan of the province’s First District Engineering Office (MPFDEO) based in Bontoc reported the establishment of the second district engineering office is the brainchild of provincial officials.
House Bill 1869 was filed on August 10, 2011, in the 15th Congress and became Republic Act 10379 which was approved on March 8, 2013, paving the way for the establishment of this office.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar issued in September this year Department Order 190 to operationalize the office.
Having jurisdiction over a total of 151 kilometers of the Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis national road, this will be busy with widening and concreting projects, in addition to building schools and other infrastructure projects, Likigan said,
The MPSDEO is two kilometres away from the Poblacion at sitio Hakrang, barangay Banawel along the national road towards Paracelis. It sits on about 1,600 square meters of a lot donated by the family of Juan For-og.
Regional Director Dequito, in his message, challenged the people of this eastern part of the province to work and make the MPSDEO improve the lives of the people.
“We fully support the MPSDEO with the leadership and personnel of the regional office, even the DPWH led by Secretary Villar is with you,” he told the appreciative crowd.
He gave the people a challenge that as the DPWH continues to improve, widen and concrete the road links, the people must avoid instigating road-right-of-way (RROW) problems along the affected portions as he committed to working for the completion of the entire road length from Barlig up to Paracelis.
The MPSDEO will be staffed by personnel detailed from the MPFDEO based in Bontoc and the DPWH regional office in officer-in-charge capacities. The regular status will come in the coming years as the budget for the new office will be included in the General Appropriations Act of the agency starting 2017.
Three mayors from the western side of the province, Mayor Abraham Akilit of Bauko, Mayor Johnson Bantog II of Besao, and Mayor Anthony Wooden of Tadian were present in support of the establishment of the MPSDEO which, according to Rep. Dalog, is a support to the development of the eastern part of the province.
By Roger Sacyaten