THE FULFILLMENT OF DREAMS: BUILDING THE ROAD TO PAGSABANGAN

Roads are nothing but the ordinary to most people in developed cities. But for some, the mere roads that we travel on daily are a dream that they desire to have in their own localities until today. Such is the case for the residents of barangay Pagsabangan in New Bataan, Davao de Oro. Some say that the road to Pagsabangan is not even a “road” to begin with and they are right. To say that their roads are difficult to traverse is an understatement. To reach Pagsabangan from New Bataan’s town center, one has to take an hour-long motorcycle ride across eight rivers of various wideness and water current speeds, narrow dirt paths, muddy roads, and steep rocky terrain.

Needless to say, the road to Pagsabangan bears multiple safety hazards. Among the people that have to traverse this road, however, are local banana farmers—who frequently get their products damaged during the rough travels—pregnant women, senior citizens, and children. In addition, the road difficulty also hampers the transportation of goods, government services, and economic growth which contributes to the prominence of insurgency in the area.

With this, the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Davao de Oro through the leadership of Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, has added barangay Pagsabangan to its prioritized areas for development and allotted 20 million pesos under the Barangay Development Program (BDP), to build a kilometer-long concretized road for the people. Gov. Tyron Uy, who personally visited the barangay and travelled through Pagsabangan’s roads last July 9, 2021, further promised to allot 10 million pesos from the PLGU’s budget for the opening and widening of the roads that were not covered by the BDP in realization of the people’s situation, and to improve overall mobility in the area.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the road projects were held on the same day, where Gov. Tyron Uy further introduced other planned projects that the PLGU will be implementing in the area such as a water system project worth 1 million pesos from PAMANA, the construction of a brand-new multi-purpose building in partnership with Senator Bong Revilla, and a teacher’s cottage which has long been a dream of the teachers assigned in the area. New classrooms are also continually being built in Pagsabangan Elementary School to continue improving education and learning conditions in the far-flung community.

In addition, the Bayanihan para sa Kalusugan-Kusina ng Kalinga Program will also continue to provide free lunches to all elementary schoolchildren in Pagsabangan to help them combat hunger and malnutrition.

These projects would not have been possible without PLGU-Davao de Oro’s partnerships with the national government, MLGU-New Bataan led by Municipal Mayor Geraldford Balbin, the Oplan Pagbabago team, the PLGU’s provincial engineers and social workers, the Armed Forces of the Philippines-66th Infantry Battalion, the Revitalized Police sa Barangay (RPSB), and those who continue to serve wholeheartedly regardless of all risks and difficulties such as the teachers of Pagsabangan Elementary School and BLGU-Pagsabangan as led by Barangay Captain Raymond Baugto, who did not stop praying and working for the fulfillment of their long dreamt roads.

Concreted roads would not only make travelling to Pagsabangan easier, but it would also bring development, produce opportunities, spur the economy, and improve the government’s reach in its communities. These road projects will further help mitigate existing road hazards, address insurgency, and make necessities such as healthcare and education more accessible to the people.

The dream to be able to travel on smooth roads has long been a cry among the residents of Pagsabangan who are mostly of indigenous Mandaya descent—and their dream is now becoming a reality. The extension of public service to the farthest barangays to provide solutions to the people’s struggles is the very goal and priority of PLGU-Davao de Oro, especially under the leadership of Gov. Tyron Uy who always champions the last, the least, and the lost. The completion of these projects are hoped to spark a new and better beginning in Pagsabangan, providing long-lasting interventions to the people, their children, and the future generations yet to come.

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