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Army, GMA to construct hanging bridge in Paquibato

The army’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) is set to construct a hanging bridge to connect communities in the hinterlands of Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District after a signing of agreement with the GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. at its headquarters in Camp Panacan on Friday.

In the agreement, the GMA Foundation will be responsible in sourcing out the financial and other material requirements on the construction of the bridge that will benefit the Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in the area.

The EastMinCom will carry out the construction through its 52nd Engineer Brigade, while the 1003rd Infantry Brigade will be tasked to secure the project.

The local government is now focusing the development in Paquibato District, a far-flung IP area in the second district. Officials are targeting a tourism boom in the area, once a stronghold of communist rebels.

Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., EastMinCom commander, said they are supportive to the initiative of the city government, through the PEACE 911, in “capacitating the communities of Paquibato to be conflict resilient.”

A 50-kilometer fun-run that passed in six Paquibato barangays — Malabog, Pañalum, Mabuhay, Paradise Embac, Lumiad and Paquibato Proper – was held on Saturday to commemorate the first anniversary of PEACE 911.

The event aimed to showcase that Paquibato is now ready for its tourism boost.

The military said the recent surrender of a high-ranking communist leader operating in Paquibato is an indication that the long reign of the communist group in the area is on its downfall.

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