A barangay in Paquibato District that used to be under the influence of the Pulang Bagani Command 1 of the New People’s Army will benefit from the newly constructed Kapuso-Mapula hanging bridge.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines partnered with the Philippine National Police, city government of Davao, and GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. for the inauguration of the steel bridge in Barangay Mapula, Paquibto District on Dec. 10.
1Lt. Jeffrey Paulo Alba, the Civil Military Operations officer of the 16th Infantry Battalion, said Paquibato is part of Davao City’s newly declared peace zone. For years, the barangays in the district were under the influence of PBC 1, led by Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago.
“They have created a shadow government to overrule barangay officials and tribal leaders,” he said.
During those times, basic services were barely delivered and transportation of farm products was hindered due to lack of paved roads and bridges, he said.
Meanwhile, residents, especially students, were always at risk when they cross the river on their way to the farm or schools.
The structure features the 50-meter cable-suspended steel bridge with a concrete bridge tower. It is 1.8 meters wide to accommodate habal-habal motorcycles, allowing a faster and more convenient way to transport Paquibato’s local products.
The project also aims to promote safety for residents, improve access to food, healthcare, education, trade opportunities, and even open up Paquibato as a tourist destination.
The inauguration was sponsored by MX3, The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Cemex Cement, PPG Paints, Equator Energy Solar Lamps.
Gracing the event GMA Kapuso Foundation ambassador Mel Tiangco, together with the EVP Rikki Escudero-Catibog, Roger S. Baay, focal person of Peace 911, representing Mayor Sara Duterte, and AFP Chief of Staff Noel Clement. Around 500 residents were also present during the event.
Clement, in his message, said, “In the long years that we have been partnering in different worthwhile endeavors, we have provided necessary logistics, expertise and manpower support that is needed to fulfill our mission here in Barangay Mapula, particularly in completing this 50-meter steel hanging bridge.”