Steel footbridge helps school children in Zambo Norte safely go to school

SIAYAN, Zamboanga del Norte (PIA) – Schoolchildren from a remote area in the town of Siayan can now safely cross the Gonayen River in going to and from school with the construction of a steel footbridge that connects Sitio Chromite and Sitio La Baluran to the barangay proper of Gunyan.

Before the construction of the steel footbridge, the only means of crossing the river were bamboo bridges. The parents of children who need to pass through the river are particularly worried, especially during the rainy season. This is because the river has a history of drowning incidents, with victims in the past that included a couple and a pregnant woman when the water level rose.

Most children prefer to go home when the sky turns dark because they are afraid of getting caught up in the floods in case it rains. Parents usually meet them on the bridge to help them cross and ensure their safety.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-9, under its Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), recently turned over a steel footbridge to the local government unit of Siayan. The project costs P811,960.48 and will serve more than 510 household beneficiaries in Barangay Gunyan.

“Mao jud ni among gipangandoy, karon nga naabot naman jud, dako kaayu mi ug pasalamat (This is what we dreamed of, now that it has arrived, we are very grateful),” said Tomas M. Rebucas, Jr., representing the parents of schoolchildren that will directly benefit from the project.

Moreover, the construction of the steel footbridge has brought joy to the farmers in the barangay and neighboring areas. They can now easily transport agricultural products such as corn, rice, rubber, and fertilizers, even during rainy seasons. Farming is the main source of livelihood for most of the residents in the area.

“Sauna maalanganin man mi ug pagdeliver sa among produkto ug mag produce sa mga fertilizer. Karon medyo nahayahay najud kay nabutangan na ug foot bridge, karon nalipay na jud ang mga tawo”. (Before, we experienced delays in the delivery of our product and the production of fertilizers. Now it has been easier because of the footbridge, and now people are happy,)” farmer sector representative Fidel C. Bordado, Jr. said.

Brgy. Gunyan captain Revelyn B. Sailama thanked the DSWD-9 and the municipal government of Siayan who contributed to making the project a reality. She hopes the barangay will be granted another infrastructure project from KALAHI-CIDSS.

“Hinaot matagaan napud mi ug Phase 3 project para mapalig-on ug madungagan ang project nga tulay ug riprap aron sa ingon ana, mahimuslan sa among katawhan karon, ugma, ug sa umaabot pa namong mga henerasyon,” she said. (Hopefully, we will be able to do a Phase 3 project to strengthen and expand the bridge and riprap project so that our people can benefit today, tomorrow, and our future generations.)

Gunyan is one of the 22 barangays of Siayan, a second-class municipality in the Zamboanga Peninsula region under the province of Zamboanga del Norte. (KSA/RVC/CCP/PIA9)

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