Gov’t okays release of PHP70-M for rebuilding of flood-hit bridge in Koronadal City

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Oct. 7 (PNA) — The national government has approved the release of around PHP70 million for the rebuilding of a vital bridge in Koronadal City that was destroyed a major flood last June.

Koronadal City Mayor Peter Miguel said Tuesday such funding was based on a request earlier submitted by the city government to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for the reconstruction of the Namnama Bridge in Purok Ferry in Barangay Namnama.

He said the funds will be utilized for the construction of a new bridge to replace the original structure after its center portion collapsed at the height of the floods last June 24.

The mayor credited the approval of the project to the support extended by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson, South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez and DPWH Region 12 director Reynaldo Tamayo Sr.

“We thank the national government for responding positively to our request,” Miguel said.

The Namnama Bridge was among the three bridges traversing the Marbel River in Koronadal City that were damaged by the floods, which came after hours of almost nonstop heavy rains.

The other damaged structures were the Sto. Nino and Concepcion bridges.

Based on an assessment made by the South Cotabato Provincial Engineer’s Office, the bank protection of the Sto. Nino Bridge, which links five barangays, sustained breaches due to the swelling of floodwaters.

The Concepcion Bridge, which connects two barangays and serves as an alternate route to the municipality of Tampakan, sustained damages to its retaining wall and bank protection.

The Namnama Bridge’s center foundation and three slab flooring totally collapsed, requiring the construction of a new 60-meter structure.

Concerned residents installed a makeshift hanging bridge along the river to allow pedestrians and motorcycles to pass through.

But they charged hefty fees for the use of the makeshift structure, triggering complaints from residents.

To resolve the problem, the city government allotted some PHP3.9 million for the construction of a walkway across the river.

“This will stop the overpricing and facilitate easier access for people and light vehicles,” the mayor added.(PNA)