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MANKAYAN, Benguet – The ‘bayanihan spirit’ among residents in the town’s biggest barangay, Balili, is very much alive after concerned residents joined forces to put up sand bags to patch up a road cut along the Agaki road to allow light vehicles to temporarily pass through the said portion of the provincial road.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong, accompanied by Councilor Norberto Anasan, Balili Punong Barangay Tony Ugalde, personnel of the municipal disaster risk reduction and management office, municipal engineering office and public works department, immediately visited the damaged portion of the road to determine appropriate measures to allow for the temporary opening of the road for motorists going in and out of the said area.
Initially, the remaining portion of the road could only accommodate motorcycles to pass through after a huge portion was recently washed out by heavy downpours over the past several days that aggravated the previous road cut inflicted by the continuous afternoon rains.
During the ocular inspection, concerned residents volunteered to bag soil and pile the same along the washed portion to serve as a temporary passage area for motor vehicles for farmers to transport their vegetable produce to the nearest market and prevent certain areas in the barangay from being isolated.
Ayong commended the “bayanihan” efforts of the residents to allow the uninterrupted flow of motor vehicles, especially those for the agricultural produce of farmers, for people in the area to sustain their sources of livelihood temporarily while the municipal government seeks for funding to re-establish the road.
Mayor Ayong expressed his gratitude to the landowner, Levi Ngaseo, for allowing a portion of his property to be taken through the widening of the washed out portion to ensure the stability of the road, saying the gesture of Mr. Ngaseo shows his concern for those affected by the washout.
The municipal chief executive described the road cut to be more than 30 meters deep and some 3 meters long that greatly affected the smooth flow of transportation in and out of the upper portion of Balili where a huge area of vegetable farms is situated.
According to him, prior to the second wash, initial estimates for the restoration of the earlier road cut was pegged at around P10 million but because of continuous afternoon rains, the road cut was aggravated that resulted to the doubling of the initial road cut restoration estimates, that is, P20 million.
Ayong stated that aside from the provincial government, the municipal government will be seeking the support of Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap for the funding support that will facilitate the immediate restoration of the road cut. By HENT