High-impact projects to provide economic opportunities, boost prospects for peace
Billions of pesos had been allocated for key infrastructure projects in Caraga Region in northeast Mindanao to uplift lives in the area, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
By end-2026, the DPWH will have invested in Caraga, or Region XIII, over P30 billion to build 11 high-impact projects that promote biodiversity, improve citizens’ access to basic services, provide economic opportunities and boost prospects for peace.
Caraga is comprised of the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Sur, Surigao del Norte and Sur, and the Dinagat Islands. The region has boasted good yields in agriculture and fisheries, breathtaking eco-tourism destinations and a strong mining industry. The DPWH is hoping to help further boost these industries with its projects.
One of the big ticket projects on the list is the P6.7 billion Cabadbaran-Puting Bato-Lanuza Road. Expected to finish in December 2026, it will provide a scenic 73-km path from Agusan del Norte to Surigao del Sur. The P3.65 billion, 41-km road between Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur and San Miguel town in Surigao del Sur will meanwhile cut travel time to lower logistical costs on farmers and entrepreneurs, help remote communities get economic and political participation and make tourist sites more accessible.
Wawa Bridge in Bayugan is finished while the Lianga Bypass Road in Surigao del Sur is near completion. A road from regional capital Butuan City to Sibagat town in Agusan del Sur will provide an alternate route to a landslide-prone section of Agusan-Davao Road. In Agusan del Norte, the DPWH finished in May 2020 flood control structures to protect people and properties from the perennial flooding in parts of the Lake Mainit-Tubay River Basin.
Caraga’s major islands received help, too. In Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, a road network now connects the port in Dapa to General Luna, a top destination in the nation’s surfing capital. The Dinagat-Loreto Road on Dinagat Island cut in half what was once a four-hour trip between Loreto in the north to Cagdianao in the south.
Some projects will connect Caraga to nearby regions. Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon in Region X will share a road in a P6.6-billion project. DPWH is also finishing an access road from Nasipit to Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental, also Region X—part of its Nasipit-Agusan del Norte Industrial Estate Special Economic Zone project with the Department of Trade and Industry.
Finally, Agusan del Norte and Bukidnon will have a 30-km road reducing travel time from Buenavista town in the former to Impasug-ong in the latter from six to three hours.
The high-impact projects are just some of DPWH’s programs in Caraga. Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said the Duterte government has built 1,321 km of road, 286 bridges, 271 flood mitigation structures and 5,414 classrooms there.
Moreover, DPWH constructed COVID-19 quarantine facilities in eight sites across Caraga, helping decongest hospitals there. As of April 2021, the agency has finished 17 of 23 target quarantine facilities and evacuation centers in Caraga.
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