Guiuan, Eastern Samar – Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Congressman Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan launched a road project, Brgy. Casuguran-Bitaugan-Habag Road, in Homonhon Island, Guiuan on March 16, 2024, as part of the celebration of the 503rd Anniversary of Magellan’s Landing and Spanish Philippine Contact.
According to Engineer Jayson Espeso, a representative from DPWH, said that the road project is under the Sustainable Infrastructure Projects Alleviating Gaps (SIPAG) program of the DPWH which is funded under the General Appropriation Act 2024 amounting to Php 100 million.

Espeso mentioned that the purpose of the launching is to give awareness to the people that a road project will be constructed this year and to give them hope that the government is working towards improving the lives of the locals.

Espeso also mentioned that the Brgy. Casuguran-Bitaugan-Habag Road is a part of the proposed 61.3 Km Homonhon Island Circumferential Road that once realized will link all eight barangays, providing motorists with faster, safer, and more convenient transport of products and services.

“The completion of the project will also shorten travel times, reduce travel fees, and promote historical tourism making it easier to access the Magellan Landing Site and the road will be beneficial in providing easy access to basic services from the government down to the local residents,” said Espeso.

The DPWH Engineer also mentioned that the recently launched Brgy. Casuguran-Bitaugan-Habag Road will be implemented by the DPWH Regional Office VIII and is fast-tracking the preparation of plans and program of works for the immediate start of the project construction within this year.

Meanwhile, Roderick Santos, Barangay Captain of Bitaugan, expressed his gratitude to Congressman Marcelino Libanan, who helped them for the realization to have a better access road in their barangays.

According to the Barangay Captain, the road project will be highly advantageous for the locals of Homonohon. The road would offer a safe access route for students commuting to schools and also provide easy transportation for fisherfolks who lack motorboats and need to travel to neighboring barangays for fishing. Additionally, it would also benefit farmers by facilitating the transportation of their agricultural products.

“Ha oras nga mayda emergency, mas madagmit an pagdara ha ospital lalo na an mga kabugtuan naton nga tikang ha Habag, urog na ngin aada ha mga maraot na panahon [In times of emergency, traveling to hospital will be more convenient for our friends from Habag, especially during bad weather],” added Santos.

Congressman Marcelino Libanan expressed his joy in visiting Homonhon Island after 8 years and bringing good news to the locals. He is the proponent of the new project, the Brgy. Casuguran-Bitaugan-Habag Road, and reminisced that he had also initiated a road concreting project from Habag to Bitaugan in the past.

“Nalilipay ako nga tinagan ako han makagarahom hin pag tangpos han akon gin titinalinguha nga circumferential road naton. Kun iyo kikitaon ha Brgy. Habag, ginkalsadahan ko na iton tipakanhi ha Bitaugan, pero waray katangpos kay naabutan ako han akon torno [I am filled with joy that God has given me the opportunity to be an instrument in completing our dream of a Circumferential road. If you take notice, I had a road project in Barangay Habag leading to Bitaugan. However, it was not completed as my term ended], “said Libanan.

Cong. Libanan also takes pride in the design of the new road projects which will provide a reliable road network in Homonhon Island following the DPWH standards and specifications of a national highway.

“Ngan ha akon nga bahin… iton programa yana hiton DWPH dire nala ordinaryo nga pangalsada. Haglapad na ine nga kalsada nga maeksakto hin two-lanes ngan madakmol nga konkreto nga kalsada. Sanglit ginyayakan ko ine para mag andam it aton mga brgy. Captains para mapreparar niyo iton iyo mga kalsada [In my opinion, I don’t believe the current DPWH program is intended for concreting of barangay roads. Instead, it seems to be designed for wider two-lane roads with the standard thickness of national road. I am sharing this information so that Barangay Captains can prepare for this type of improvement by ensuring the availability of road right-of-way],” said Libanan.

During the launching of the project, Cong. Libanan also shared his plans to provide an access road to Brgy. Inapulangan, the only isolated barangay in Homonhon.

“Mayda na ngani naton pondo titikangan na dinhe ha bitaogan ngadto ha may Inapolangan nga kalsada para ngatanan iton walo nga brgy hiton Homonhon konektado hin maupay nga kalsada [If there are available funds, we will start the construction of a road from Bitaugan to Inapulangan to ensure reliable connectivity for all eight barangays in Homonhon],” added Cong. Nonoy.

Various officials and government employees attended the launching activity, including Cong. Marcelino Libanan of 4 Ps party-list and Minority Leader of the 19th Congress, Engineer Jayson Espeso of DPWH Eastern Samar, Mayor Analiza Kwan and Sangguniang Bayan members of Guiuan, Board Member Ralph Vincent Evardone as representative of the provincial government, other board members, barangay officials of the eight barangays of Homonhon Islands, and local residents.(PR)