COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — Travel time from Marawi City to Cagayan de Oro City will soon be shortened from 3.5 hours to 1.5 hours with the concreting of the Kapai-Tagoloan-Talakag road.
Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Lanao Del Sur Mamintal Adiong Jr. signed in Kapai, Lanao del Sur last Friday the memorandum of agreement (MOA) allowing the provincial government to implement the project starting this year, with the concreting of the road from Kapai to Tagoloan, also in Lanao del Sur, the last ARMM town en route to Talakag, Bukidnon in Region 10.
Groundbreaking rites were also held for the Phase II of the Kapai-Tagoloan road.
Kapai town is 30 minutes away from Marawi City and is the gateway to secluded Tagoloan town, the last frontier in the tri-boundary of Lanao Del Sur, Bukidnon and Cagayan De Oro City.
“This road project is part of the vision of Gov. Mujiv Hataman to open a ‘short cut’ that will allow residents of Lanao del Sur to reach urban centers like Cagayan de Oro at the shortest time possible, no longer passing through Iligan City,” said Engr. Don Loong, Secretary of the ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways.
Loong stressed that for decades, farmers travel for half a day before reaching the town center of Marawi City to bring their agricultural goods, paying excessive transportation fare.
At worst, some travel on foot for almost a day, he said.
“The impact of this now is cheaper transport cost and faster transactions for farmers to bring their goods to the market, Hataman said in his speech after the signing of the MOA.
He added that the project will also open up vast tracts of potential agricultural land for more rural development initiatives including the attraction of tourism for Lake Lanao.
“Soon we can have trucks to bring the goods to the people, easy access to urban trading, health facilities, government offices and education for children” Hataman said.
A press release from the DPHW-ARMM quoted District Engineer Luzvimin Sani as saying the province’s first district engineering office had earlier determined the capability of the provincial government to implement the project in terms of human capacity, equipment and other resources.
Once completed, the new road will shorten travel distance and time from Marawi City to Wao, Lanao del Sur from 10 to three hours.
At present, residents of Marawi travel around ten hours to get to Wao, Lanao del Sur passing through Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.
From Kapai to Tagoloan, travelers can either turn left in Talakag, Bukidnon to Cagayan de Oro City, or turn right to connect to other parts of Bukidnon, to Wao, the press release said.
Sani told MindaNews in a telephone interview that the road from Kapai to Talakag, a former logging road, is around 50 kilometers
The ARMM’s P220-M fund this year is for the concreting of 11 kilometers. Sani said this “will complete the more or less 15 kilometers of the Kapai portion because there are sections of the road that are already concrete.”
The Tagoloan portion, covering around 15 kilometers, will be concreted by the 2016 funding but here are still some 20 kilometers that would need funding.
Loong said a proposal in the 2017 budget will be needed to ensure full access to Cagayan de Oro and Wao by 2017 from Tagoloan.
Kapai resident Georgina Dao hailed the leaders for the project. “Aside from transporting our goods, this will make it more comfortable for some of the schoolchildren who walk for kilometers to reach the schools,” she said.
Gov. Adiong said that in the past, they could only get P30 million a year budget for infrastructure development in Lanao del Sur from the ARMM. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)