By BUTCH D. ENERIO
FARMERS and traders in Talakag, Bukidnon have to wait a little while before a major bridge linking the province to this city would be passable, and the flow of goods, normalize.
This after Congresswoman Maria Lourdes Acosta Alba of the 3rd District of Bukidnon was assured by the constructor of the Uguiaban Bridge that it would be finished next month, three months behind schedule.
Rep. Alba, who personally inspected the ongoing works last Sunday, said that her visit to the site was necessitated to see for herself the progress of the bridge construction after she received complaints from farmers and residents about the delay in the putting up of the bridge that has affected the transport of their agricultural products to Cagayan de Oro.
Rep. Alba who was accompanied by the Department of Public Works and Highways’ personnel, met with the private constructor engineer of the bridge.
“I have to look into the progress of the bridge works and know the status of the construction from the DPWH and the constructor so I can give a definitive response to complaints of the people and businesses in Talakag town.” Rep. Alba said in an interview.
The Uguiaban Bridge, was totally destroyed when washed by the strong current at the height of Tropical Storm Pablo in December last year.
Construction of the new bridge started in Jaunuary 2013 with the budget of P47 million from the calamity fund.
Talakag town is host to companies such as Dole Philippines, Del Monte Philippines, Stanfelco and Agrinanas. Since post ST Pablo, farm produce have to be double hauled by manual labor and transferred to bigger containerized trucks waiting at the other side of the broken bridge, and farmers of high value crops have to add at least P15, cost per sack for hauling.
Romeo Martinez, project engineer of Charlz construction, said that their work which is already 70 percent finished, is behind schedule because of bad weather.
He said that they have committed to finish the construction of the bridge in October, and hopefully —become passable before the end of the year or after the curing period of the cement.