Higaonon, Manobo tribes to benefit from Mt. Mayapay road project

Published November 27, 2020, 8:38 AM

by Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The Higaonon and Manobo tribes are going to benefit the most from a road completed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the famed Mount Mayapay here.

Shown in photo is the competed road going to the Mount Mayapay in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. (DPWH 13 via Mike U. Crismundo/Manila Bulletin

The tribes are expected to boost their agriculture productivity, as well as the area’s tourism potential, as the newly paved 1.36-kilometer, two lane road from the junction of Buenavista-Bunaguit Road in Agusan del Norte leading to the foot of Mt. Mayapay offers a safer, faster and scenic route for travelers.

“When you reach the top of the mountain, you can see the beautiful city of Butuan that faces the Butuan Bay, a good for view of our tourists,” DPWH 13 Regional Director Engr. Pol M. Delos Santo told The Manila Bulletin on Wednesday.

The first phase of the road improvement project involves concreting of 607.5 meters beginning at NRJ Buenavista-Bunaguit Road.

After its completion in January 2020, construction works on the remaining 752.5 meters resumed in February, and was completed recently.

“Significantly, local residents who mostly belonged to the Higaonon and Manobo tribes living in Mt. Mayapay as their ancestral domain, now have a more convenient access to basic government services and commodities giving them an opportunity for economic development and an improved way of life,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar also said.

With an allocation of P29.3 million, the road project started on August 2019 under the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to improve access and connectivity to tourism sites.

Delos Santos said that the completed project greatly benefits farmers in the area relying on corn, chicken, and swine production for their livelihood.

In another development, the DPWH is undertaking the construction of a flood control dike that will protect the long stretch of a tertiary road leading to the town proper of Magallanes, in Agusan Del Norte.

Delos Santos said the construction of flood control infrastructure has always been one of the priority projects considered by Villar in areas that were more susceptible to overflowing of river and flooding.

Last year, DPWH Agusan del Norte District Engineering Office (DEO) implemented the construction of a 455-linear meter dike with concrete revetment along Pandanon-Magallanes Road, completed last May 2020, and 120.4 linear meters continued this year under the Regular Infrastructure Program.

In addition, another concrete dike with a length of 400.3 linear meters is being constructed across the 2019 dike project not only to protect the road from scouring due to high rise of water and strong river current, but most importantly protecting the residents living nearby.

The flood control project is now under close supervision of Agusan del Norte DEO District Engineer Edmund V. Opinion.

The town of Magallanes in Agusan del Norte is surrounded with mountains and bounded by the two rivers, Baug and Agusan River.

The elevation of the area is below sea level, the town center is in the river delta, and the people living along the coastal areas are always endangered by the threats of rising water from the rivers and flashfloods during heavy rains and typhoons.

The ongoing project is targeted to be fully completed by February 2021.