Monday, 26 April 2010

PGMA to inspect Tawi Tawi road project

Simunul, Tawi Tawi—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will inspect tomorrow (April 26) the newly-nationalized circumferential road in this island whose conversion from a provincial road under Republic Act No. 4659 is expected to accelerate the P75 million road project.

The President is the first Chief Executive of the country to visit this 6th class island-municipality--- one of 11 island towns of Tawi Tawi province.

This is also her first time to visit this island town as well.

The President is expected to land at Sanga Sanga airport in Bongao, the provincial capital, where she will be met by Gov. Sadikul Sahali and Lone District Rep. Nur Jaafar.

The President will be joined by Public Works Secretary Victor Domingo and Press Secretary Crispulo Icban Jr.

Upon landing, the President and party will walk toward the multipurpose center where a short program will be held.

Other than President Arroyo, the only high national leader who visited Simunul was the late President Marcos, but the latter was then the senate president when he reached Tawi-tawi, according to Simunul Mayor Benzar N. Tambot.

The circumferential road measures 19.4 kilometers and spans 15 barangays with a total population of 38,239.

Basic produce of these remote barangays are fish, seaweeds, copra and other agricultural commodities.

Tawi Tawi, the country’s southernmost area, is known for its marine products such as sea shells, sea cucumber, sea urchins and abalone. During low tide, goods could hardly be brought to the market due to poor roads. Its current road system of only 25 kilometers is a combination of concrete and dirt road. It has four secondary ports.

Worth mentioning about the province is its high literacy rate of 80 percent with 21 elementary schools and 7 high schools. Around 99.85 percent of its population is Muslim and the rest Christians. The dialect is Sinama and the ethnic group is called Sama.

Its main tourism attraction is the pillar remnant of the 629-year old Sheik Makdum Mosque and its pristine beaches like La Island, Venus Tonggusong, Bakong and Sangay Siapo.

Simunul’s fishing grounds are the Bongao Bay and Sibutu Strait which thrive with tuna, grouper, flying fish, snappers, mullet, parrot fish, squids, octopus and lobster. (PND)

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