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Bohol Philippines Infrastructure Projects

By JUNE S. BLANCO 
 
BOHOL Gov. Erico Aumentado continues to make life better for the islanders of President Carlos P. Garcia town by improving provincial roads and providing school buildings as well as post-harvest facilities.

  He led inaugural rites for the concreting of a 1.6-kilometer stretch of the Popoo-Tugas Road with a carriageway of six meters that is the standard for a provincial road costing only P6 million.

  The Provincial Engineer's Office (PEO) under Engr. Edwin Vallejos implemented the project, contracted by the Tagbilaran City-based S & CU Construction.

  Aumentado also inaugurated the newly re-graveled and soil stabilized 3-km. stretch of the Pitogo-Aguining Road, as well as a similar length of the Popoo-Tugas Road at only P3.08 million each, still implemented by the PEO and both contracted by Cebu 7H Technochem Industries, Inc.

  The improved stretches costing almost P13 million are part of the island's main road that traverses barangays Villa Milagrosa, San Vicente, Poblacion, Popoo and Tugas.

  On the other hand, two more road projects are ongoing.

  One is the concreting of a bypass farm-to-market road costing P10 million with funding using Aumentado's signature convergence strategy: P3 million from the provincial government with which he leveraged P3 million from Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap while the town and barangays contributed P4 million.

  The other is part of the P4 million re-graveling and soil stabilization of the Tugnao-Saguise-Lipata-Bonbonon provincial road.

  Orphaned by his father when he was still eight years old pushed Aumentado to join the crew of a "new look", a fishing method. His earnings helped his widowed mother in the upkeep of the house and send him and his siblings to school as well until he graduated from the elementary grades.

  Living a frugal life, he managed to save extra coins that amounted to P50 when he was about to enter high school. He used the money to start a business – buying empty bottles and broken aluminum ware, selling them to a scrap buyer. He used the proceeds to buy kettles, pans and kitchen ware from Cebu for his mother to sell during market days in his hometown of Ubay.

  The experiences gave him broad insights into the life of islanders so that his heart goes out to the President Garcia residents especially when Mayor Tesalonica Boyboy and her father before her brought to him resolutions seeking assistance especially for infrastructure projects.

  Such projects include a two-classroom school building for the Villa Milagrosa High School and a one classroom building each for the Villa Milagrosa Elementary School, Lipata Elementary School and the San Jose Primary School.

  Again using the convergence strategy, this time with the Philippine Army's Engineer Support Battalion (ESBn) under Lt. Col. Ramon Evan Ruiz, the provincial government can build a classroom at only P340,000 or P780,000 for a two-classroom unit.

  Each classroom is the standard 56 square meters in floor area, painted, with toilet, plumbing, water and electrical connections, as well as blackboards. Since the soldiers already receive pay as army personnel, Ruiz uses the allocation for labor to buy armchairs with so that buildings completed by the ESBn are immediately ready to occupy.

  Aumentado used to attend primary classes in rooms with woven coconut fronds only for walls.

  The existing buildings – one struck by lightning – are so dilapidated that they already pose danger to the children. The governor said he does not want them to attend classes in hazardous places or "under the mango tree", hence, the assistance.

  Since the island has very limited rice lands and only rain-fed at that, Aumentado supports its corn industry.

  He helped follow up with the Department of Agriculture the release of P500,000 worth of corn mill with all accessories – leveraged with the local government unit's P500,000 counterpart for the building, lot, operation and maintenance of the mill.

  The town has an estimated 2,850 corn farmers tilling around only 709 hectares of corn land in 18 main island barangays. At 5.3 tons per hectare, the annual production stands at 3.803 metric tons.

  Without the mill, the farmers and residents of the town's 23 barangays have to go to Alicia town in the Bohol mainland 40 kilometers away just to have their crop milled at P2.25 per kilo or P112.50 per cavan.

  Factoring in the transport and handling cost of P210 per cavan and the opportunity loss of two days just to bring the corn to the mainland and back, current corn milling cost for the islanders stand at P622.50 per cavan.

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