With P31.3M road projects: Sacol Island comes to life PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 14:32

What used to be a dormant island of four barangays has now come to life, thanks to the city government under the administration of Mayor Celso Lobregat for having implemented P31.3 million worth of road concreting projects measuring 12.39 kilometers on Sacol Island, a 30-minute ride in pump boat from the mainland Zamboanga.

Old folks in barangays Landang Gua, Landang Laum, Busay and Pasilmanta, all on Sacol Island, were one in saying that since their childhood there was never a bicycle, let alone a motorcycle, on the island, owing to its rugged terrain and earthen road.

“Before, when not a meter of road was concreted, there was no motorcycle on the island,” said Borong, a chabacano-speaking  kagawad of Pasilmanta. “Now, you can see 50 mostly new motorcycles because we now have road. In fact, I bought my own motorcycle just a while ago,” he added. 

Mayor Lobregat together with Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and other city officials including the mayor’s brother, Jomar, cruised Sunday morning to Sacol Island and inaugurated P20.3 million worth of road projects, measuring almost 8.66 kilometers long and winding from Landa Gua to Landang Laum, Busay and Pasilmanta. Several other projects to include fence construction and basketball court were also unveiled.

In prior years, some P11.012 million worth of road concreting projects measuring 3.73 kilometers were implemented in Sacol Island which now total P31.3 million measuring all in all 12.39 kilometers.

Lobregat is Zamboanga’s first mayor who went to the four barangays in Sacol in one day using the road network. In prior years, travel by land was not possible as there were no road connections to speak of. 

As early as 7 a.m., Lobregat and party convoyed to Barangay Arena Blanco where they took off to Sacol Island on board four watercrafts, racing to Landang Gua to catch up the high tide for easy landing on the beach.   Joining the trip were Councilors Mike Alavar, Percival Ramos and Eddie Saavedra together with Kit Barredo, BG Guingona, Art Onrubia, Elong Natividad, the mayor’s Executive Assistant Amilpasa “Caloy” Bandaying, who served as guide to the project locations and City Engineer Luis Despalo and staff.

Upon arrival in Landang Gua and after a briefing with barangay officials and CEO personnel, the mayor led in the ceremonial ribbon cutting to unveil the P696,977.48 (155-linear meter) fence around the barangay’s elementary school.

Shortly, the chief executive and his entourage mounted on a convoy of 34 motorcycles and motored their way on the now concreted road up to the boundary of Barangay Landang Gua to unveil the 2,529 linear meter-road costing P5,869,999.72.

Amid the scorching sun and cool breeze from the sea, the convoy then continued traversing the paved and winding road up to center of Landang Laum, and inaugurated two more road projects; one, measured 1,779-ln.m long worth P4,157,175.22, and the other was 315-ln.m long amounting to P749,999.97.

From Landang Laum, the 34 motorcycles ushered the mayor and his party to Barangay Busay where they again inaugurated the waiting shed in the amount of P99,868.54, and two road concreting projects totaling P5.4 million; one was 1,976  linear meters long in the amount of P4,649,999.08, and inspected the other 315-linear meters-long worth P749,9994.52.

Lobregat’s convoy hit the road once more and headed for Barangay Pasilmanta.  There, he turned over P4.9 million worth of road projects; the 2,063 linear meters amounting to P4,887,495.68 and inspected the 315 linear meters multi-purpose pavement costing P749,999.20.

Throughout the series of project inaugurations, the barangay officials of the four island barangays joined the mayor’s convoy as a show of their full support and gratitude to the chief executive. In every stop, the mayor, Iturralde and the councilors including Jomar played Santa (belatedly), giving away candies and personalized items, to the delight of the children and adults alike.

After a short rest and quenched their thirst with fresh coconut juice in Pasilmanta, Lobregat and party travelled straight back to Landang Gua for lunch at 1:30 p.m. at the barangay’s newly constructed basketball court amounting to P539,997.58, which was also unveiled after the late lunch.

At 2:30 p.m., Lobregat and party cruised back to the mainland in Arena Blanco, feeling exhausted yet worth the adventure and satisfaction for uplifting the lives of the people on Sacol Island.

“With all these projects, puede kita abla that the island has come alive,” Lobregat said.

Aside from road concreting projects, the island barangays are also recipients of other infrastructure projects including vehicles and other facilities implemented from 2007 to 2012. — Vic Larato