BONTOC, Mountain Province – Representative Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr., together with DPWH-Mountain Province First District Engineering Office (MPFDEO) District Engineer Alberto N. Gahid, Provincial Administrator Franklin C. Odsey representing Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., and church officials, led the blessing and inauguration of the Chico Karayan Bridge–Lanao–Tikitik Bypass Road today recently.
The P243-million-worth project which came in four packages was realized through the initiative of Dalog and was implemented by the MPFDEO in partnership with the BMK Corporation-AIP Construction Joint Venture (Package A, B and C) and with AIP Construction for Package D.
The blessing and mass were officiated by Reverend (Rev.) Samuel Maximo from the Sta. Rita de Cascia Cathedral and Rev. Lucrecia C. Turtem from the Cathedral of All Saints. Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines Bishop Benny P. Lang-akan was also present to give further support to the event.
Retired District Engineer Alexander C. Castañeda, other personnel of the DPWF-MPFDEO, central barangays’ officials and other members of the community were also present during the activity.
The ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the project followed the blessing after which the group had a walk-through the completed project until Paling, Lanao, Bontoc Ili where an inaugural program was held in a vacant owned by Jasmine Fudchacha.
The program included a sharing of the overview of the project and project profile, audio-visual presentation of the project (Before, During, and After), messages from elected officials and from the MPFDEO officials, which were responded to by the representatives from the serviced communities.
Per project overview, the project was conceptualized by the late Congressman Maximo B. Dalog, Sr. and later presented to the late Board Member Alfonso Kiat-ong and to the other elders in the central barangays of Bontoc for their guidance. With their blessing, the project was born. With the passing away of the late Dalog, Sr., however, it was Dalog, Jr. who pursued the project, worked for its funding and saw its implementation.
According to him, he looked into the realization of the project because of its soundness, practicality and functionality.
“This project was finally completed through our concerted efforts – from its conception, project proposal, implementation and up to its completion. Everybody took part. Kuatako am-in na isunga sapay kuma ta aywanan tako,” Dalog added.
Odsey who was then the Mayor of Bontoc when the project kicked-off also said that the project will highly impact on the lives of the people of Bontoc which will further usher development along the Chico River.
“Once connected to the national road, the bypass road will spur development along the road area. But more importantly, it will help diffuse the traffic in the capital town especially along Tikitik-Chak-chakan-Foyayeng Road stretch where the road could really get jammed with the influx of vehicles at certain hours of the day and during tourist peak seasons, like the Am-among and Lang-ay festivals and holidays,” Odsey said.
Odsey also said that likened to the Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, the bypass road may also become renowned as the “Riverwalk” of Bontoc. By Gia K. Mangagley and Clay Angelo D. Bayle