MINDORO ROAD PROJECT. Members of the Philippine Army and its engineering battalion, with Oriental Mindoro local officials (left photo), spearhead the soft opening of the 9-km road project connecting Barangay Formon-Tawas of Bansud town to Barangay Malo of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro on Aug. 25, 2018, paving the way for the easy travel of the residents, especially the Mangyan indigenous people. Concreting is up for completion by the Army’s 514 Engineering Combat Battalion (ECB). (Photo courtesy of the 2ID-DPAO)

CAMP GEN. MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — Troops of the Army’s 203rd Infantry Brigade and 514 Engineering Combat Battalion (ECB) have completed the ground works for the nine-kilometer road project in the remote barangays of Formon-Tawas in Bansud town to Barangay Malo, Bongabong in Oriental Mindoro.

Governor Alfonso Umali Jr. led officers from the army’s construction and engineering battalion and local governments of Bansud and Bongabong in the road’s soft opening on Aug. 25, allowing residents and tribal communities to now pass through.

“Dati pangarap lang natin ito, pero ngayon nagkakatotoo na (This used to be our dream, but now this is reality),” Umali said during the opening ceremony.

The road project was made possible through a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) forged between the LGUs and the Philippine Army last Jan. 24.

The Oriental Mindoro provincial government has awarded the road construction project to the 514 ECB.

Brig. Gen. Antonio G. Parlade Jr. , 203rd Brigade Commander, enjoined the town officials, residents and road project stakeholders to support the Army’s endeavor.

“The NPA Communist terrorists will do anything to stop this road project because it will affect their routine extortions and recruitment activities in the area. We must be united in protecting this community development project,” Parlade said.

Meanwhile, Major General Rhoderick M. Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID), said the ongoing road construction will help alleviate the conditions of the people living in the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs) especially the Mangyan tribes.

“They can now bring to the markets their agricultural products easily and at the same time the LGUs can now easily deliver the basic services and programs to the Indigenous People in the area,” he said. (PNA)