Saturday, 12 April 2008

PGMA to release P290-M to complete “monument to corruption” bridge in Abra


The upland Cordillera province of Abra – the 10th poorest country in the Philippines – got an unexpected P290-million bonus from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when the Chief Executive flew to this province Thursday (April 10) to address the peace assembly in the capital town of Bangued.

In her speech at the Provincial Capitol’s social hall where the peace assembly was held, the President announced that she had instructed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to complete the half-finished bridge that has been towering for more than a decade over banca-riding commuters crossing the Manabo River in hinterland Manabo, Abra.

“A few days ago, and I'm so glad that (DPWH Secretary) Jun Ebdane is here, because I instructed Secretary Ebdane to complete the long-unfinished Manabo Bridge, a monument to corruption…” the President revealed to the audience’s applause.

The President continued: “A monument to corruption where you spent on infrastructure, and then you'll just leave it alone, no matter what, you know, never mind what happens.”

The President then revealed that she had earlier resolved to do something about the bridge that looks like a suspended rainbow of concrete over the Manabo River that residents cross with bancas to this day.

“(Construction started) many administrations ago, standing half-built. I've been looking at that since I was a senator and I said, someday, when, you know, when I started to think of running for President, I said, that's one of the things that we have to work on.

“And Jun Ebdane said it needs 290 million pesos for its completion but we will do it (applause).”

The President also assured the participants to the peace assembly that the Arroyo administration “would want to bring a lot of development projects” to Abra.

Also in the peace assembly in Bangued were Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, and Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza, among others.

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