Samar seeks P1.1-B to link 2 towns

TACLOBAN CITY — The Samar provincial government is seeking PHP1.1 billion to upgrade the existing road and bridges that link the two economically-depressed towns of Samar province.

Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan, in an interview Wednesday, said they have already secured the endorsement of the Regional Development Council during the body’s second quarter meeting for funding support from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The improved access road is expected to unlock economic opportunities in two of the poorest farming and fishing towns in the region.

The towns of Talalora and Villareal posted a poverty incidence of 47 percent and 42 percent, respectively, based on the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The distance between two towns is 16 kilometers.

“Due to bad road, people from these places take a boat ride to Babatngon, Leyte or Biliran province to buy and sell products especially during rainy days. This is the reason why there’s a slow economic circulation in Samar province,” Tan added.

The governor is optimistic that the road link will be concreted within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte. She recalled that some funds have been poured for the road opening activities in the past.

The proposed project, according to her, will connect the paved road from San Andres village to Villareal town center. The central government recently upgraded the road from the national highway in Pinabacado town to Villareal.

Better road leading to Talalora town is also eyed to benefit island towns of Zumarraga and Daram.

Talalora, a 6th class town in Samar has been known as haven of faith healers. It is about 73 kilometers north of Tacloban City, the regional capital. Sarwell Meniano/PNA –