February 5, 2006

President’s bridge program in Sarrat eases farmers’ woes

The President’s Bridge Program (PBP), a major national infrastructure initiative, capped 2005 with the completion of 299 new bridges, the most in a single year since the program was first conceived 11 years ago.

Two of these bridges, were built in the remote barangays of San Juan and San Roque in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.

The San Juan bridge is located in the middle of a rice field where the access road is merely an irrigation road that is good only for any two-wheeled mode of transport.

The more than P15 million bridge was awarded a certificate of acceptance by the Mayor’s office upon its completion in August 2005.

The bridge has eased the transport of agricultural crops and other farm implements which is usually hauled by farmers on a carabao-drawn cart during harvest season.

The San Juan bridge, built simultaneously with the San Roque bridge, connects the villages of San Pedro and Sto. Domingo.

Neighboring village residents here used to go around the 11-kilometer horse-shoe shaped route to reach the Sarrat public market and other exit points going to Laoag.

Travel time is cut two-folds because residents can now reach the town proper by cutting straight through the circuitous route.

Esmeralda Castillo, the town engineer, said the construction of the bridges was necessary to facilitate access of residents and agricultural products.

PIA-Ilocos News Service

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