Multi-million-peso Siruma-Tinambac hi-way project approved, early implementation seen.
LEGAZPI CITY, April 1 — The economic life-changing project and the greatest for folks in the Siruma and Tinambac area will become a reality. For the past 100 years, the almost virtually untouched gravel and muddy secondary national road on rainy season here, now get the full attention of the national government after a concerted representation by 4rth district Congressman Felix William “Wimpy’ Fuentebella, backed by Gov. Miguel Luiz ” Migz” Villafuerte, for concreting. Even Congresswoman Leni Robredo of the 3rd district came in support for the project in what was seen as a historic bi-partisan event, for all these personalities belong to different political parties.
The Bicol Regional Development Council, which weilds power and clout joined the band wagon and expressed their unequivocal, massive support that a unanimous recommendation was rushed to Malacanang and the National Economic and Development Authority and Board for strong consideration.
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It is good to note here the promising tourism industry in the sleepy town has prompted several property owners to develop their beach front properties already, despite the existence of bad roads.The positive impact of the road project in Camarines Sur tourism industry can complement the one emerging in Caramoan peninsula and islands. As proposed, the “new” Siruma – Tinambac highway will consist of one lane on each direction only but will include an eco-friendly beautification component on both sides complete with designated flower boxes and green areas. The idea was pitched in by Bicol regional tourism director Maria “Nini” Ravanera.
It must be recalled that when former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited Siruma after the May 2010 elections, she left the unwavering instruction of re-gravelling and improvement of the secondary national road to then Bicol public works and highways regional director Danilo Manalang.
Briefed of the Bicol RDC resolution, President Benigno S. Aquino III himself was happy to endorse the multi-million highway project. Only known to his trusted staff, he has a copy of the notations left by Arroyo about the Siruma road which was thought to have been forgotten or misplaced already. The president tasked the secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways to rush the road project immediately, his way at getting back indirectly of Arroyo’s alleged “bad” governance.
As of this writing, the NEDA is considering two options for the early implementation of the road construction. One was to include it in the priority development millenium plan of the national government and immediately process the paper works for its inclusion in the Public Private Partnership projects offering. The Department of Budget and Management was also tasked to thoroughly check if any 2014 funds still unutilized can be realigned to finance the road system construction.
The approximate 58-kilometer hi-way is expected to boost trade, commerce and tourism in the area, that local government officials welcomed and expressed support as the townsfolk of Siruma and Tinambac are already thankful that at least, the government has turned its blind eyes open to their predicament.
Siruma is a 4rth class municipality with a rural population of 17,050 while Tinambac is classified as 1st class town with a population of 62,435 as of 2010 official census.
Want to read more about Siruma, the series?
1. The Almost Forgotten Town of Siruma
2. Second Part, Siruma Surprised, Hosts a Distinguished Visitor
3. Third Installment, Siruma: Faded Photographs and Fresh Memories
4. Conclusion: Exposing The Other Side of Siruma