North Cot opens new road in Lumad village

A barangay populated mainly by the Matigsalog Tribe, Kulaman Valley was accessible only by foot or horse ride until the provincial government opened a seven-kilometer stretch of road from Barangay Sanlab to here.

"We had to pay one peso per kilo hauling fee for our upland rice and corn produce. With the newly opened road, we believe it will no longer be so difficult and expensive," said Barangay Captain Mariano Sagisabal.

"We hope the provincial government will continue working on the road
so that our access to the market, government centers and other services would really be assured," he said.

During his visit Monday where he apologized for the long delayed arrival of government service in Kulaman Valley, Governor Emmanuel Piñol assured barangay residents the road would be paved with limestone and that culverts for creeks that traverse the road would be built.

Piñol, who is serving his last term as governor, also said he will allocate P500,000 for further work on the road. He said he would also ask the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways for a bailey bridge that will span the river at the outskirt of Kulaman Valley.

He also pledged to give the barangay P150,000 as counterpart for their rice and corn mill project under Kalahi-CIDSS, and P1 million for a new school building under the 2007 provincial budget.

Barangay residents who are interested to plant rubber will also be given access to the provincial government's supervised rubber program for ancestral domain areas.

Kulaman Valley is part of the 102,000 hectares awarded to the Matigsalogs through a certificate of ancestral domain title in 2003. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)