Residents of a remote village in San Remigio are now assured of safety during rainy days, access to education and trading their products with the completion of a 97-linear meter hanging footbridge.
The P2.63 million hanging footbridge in Barangay Bulan-Bulan connects Sitios Uma and Tacas. It will serve around 120 households in this village.
The river-crossing facility is funded under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development with a counterpart from the municipal government.
Bulan-Bulan is 33 kilometers away from the town’s Poblacion. It is only accessible by riding a horse or walk on foot, from Sitio Gahit, Barangay Aningalan.
Locals have taken control of the terrain that it only took them two hours to reach Gahit.
Barangay Treasurer Ardolfo Marcos said it is risky when the Inyaman River swells. They have to taut a hand line to hold onto as they cross the river.
At times, they used ropes to get into the opposite side of the river bank.
Students from Sitio Uma could not attend school at Bulan-Bulan Elementary School when the water level rises.
Parents do not send their children to school for fear they might slip or lose their balance while walking on the river rocks and washed by the strong current.
Marcos said without the bridge, it takes much time to transfer their products to the other side of the barangay proper.
After crossing the river, they have to walk for additional hours before reaching the nearest village and take a jeepney ride to the town proper.
The frequent rains add more inconvenience to the residents because of the muddied trail.
Bulan-Bulan is not just into farming but also in mat weaving.
The barangay official said it was almost impossible for them to have the project because of the challenges in the hauling of construction materials from Aningalan to Bulan-Bulan.
Now, they have a safe river-crossing facility. They can access both sides of the barangay. There is no more risk if they need something from the other side.