Brgy. Kidawa, Laak, Compostela Valley Province – “We had two ‘bridges’ here but they were nothing when the flood came.”
Medino Andao, a barangay councilman and a member of Dibabawon tribe recalled how the makeshift wooden bridge and the culvert were washed out when heavy rains and flood ravaged their village.
“It was difficult to cross the raging water in the river, so, we decided to build a makeshift bridge from coconut trunk for us and our school children to safely cross the river but when the flood water came, it was easily wiped out,” Andao said in the dialect.
“There was also a government assistance where a culvert was installed in the river but after three big floods, the structure also gave up,” he added.
For a long time, flood after heavy rains was the usual occurrence in the community. People had to risk life and their products when they go to the town center, the market, visit hospital and when children go to school every time they cross the Saug river.
There was even an instance when a farmer almost drowned with his produce when he tried to cross the flood, added Andao.
“But now, we feel a sigh of relief seeing that a bigger and sturdier bridge rises above the river,” he said.
He feels safer for himself, his family and the whole IP community knowing that they no longer have to risk their lives crossing the river.
The provincial government of Compostela Valley in partnership with the DA-PRDP prioritized the construction of 2.02km Sand Miguel-Kidawa farm-to-market road with 18 liner meter bridge to solve the longtime problem.
Allotted P40.6-million, the project now at 85% completion serves the 416 households and over 2,000 residents.
“Aside from the bridge we are also proud that all our roads now are concrete. Our travel takes less than an hour going to Laak proper which is 38 km away and much faster going to the nearest town of Monkayo, 26 km away.”
“We don’t use Carabao anymore or bamboo raft in bringing our produce to the market because hauling trucks now have access to our place,” Andao said.
“Our banana, coconut and rice can now be bought right outside houses or farms,” he added.
“I can say, I am part of this project. This is ours, so we take care of it well. In fact, I bought my own tablet as my geotagging device after we were also trained to use the technology,” Andao said. (Sherwin B. Manual/PSO Mindanao)