Via Jipapad-Las Navas road

Rep. Marcelino ‘Nonoy’ Libanan

JIPAPAD, Eastern Samar – A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the concreting of a 1.3-kilometer portion of the remaining 3.735-kilometer stretch of the Jipapad-Las Navas road in this town on Monday (July 1).

House Minority Floor Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino ‘Nonoy’ Libanan led the event along with Jipapad Mayor Benjamin Ver and Eastern Samar Vice-Governor Maricor Sison-Goteesan, among others.

The ceremony was also attended by local chief executives from other municipalities in Eastern Samar province and security officials, and witnessed by the residents of Jipapad.
This road project, with a length of 24.343 kilometers on the Eastern Samar side, will connect to Northern Samar through the Las Navas-Catubig road, which has a total length of 53.606 kilometers.

A budget of P100 million, facilitated by Rep.Libanan was allocated for the concreting of the 1.3-kilometer portion and also involves slope protection and drainage works.

Future budget allocations for the project will include the construction of a bridge connecting Eastern Samar to Northern Samar.

The project aims to provide safe and reliable access to the remote villages of Jipapad and Las Navas, promoting economic development and improving the lives of the affected communities.

Jimboy Panustan, 34, a farmer, is one of the individuals excited about the completion of the road project linking Jipapad to Las Navas.

A native of Jipapad, he moved to Las Navas seven years ago after marrying a resident there. Once or twice a week, Panustan treks from his home in the interior village of San Francisco in Las Navas to San Juan village in Jipapad to tend to his farm and carabao.
He usually leaves San Francisco at 9 am and arrives in San Roque Village around 3 pm, or almost half-day of walking.

“Maupay ini nga gin papaklasada na, kay basi diri na kami magbinaktas,” Panustan said in Waray as he trekked to Jipapad town with his wife’s nephew.

“Diri na gihapun namun pagtitinukduhon an amun mga produkto nga igbaraligya kun may kalsada na kay pwede naman itun ig sakay,” he added.

Panustan believes that the road will also help families send their children to school, preventing situations like his, where he only finished Grade Six.

In his message during the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Ver said that the completion of the road project will spur economic development, making their town a major transportation hub for those traveling to Eastern Samar and Luzon.

“I am thankful on behalf of the people of Jipapad because this is the realization of our dream that will benefit future generations,” Mayor Ver said.

The construction of the road linking the interior towns of Eastern Samar and Northern Samar, including far-flung villages, offers new hope for communities, opening opportunities for socio-economic development, health, education, and eco-tourism.

For the success of this project, Lt. Col. Rudyard Garcia, the commanding officer of the 52nd IB, urged community support to ensure its immediate completion.

The project has faced setbacks in previous years, particularly on the Northern Samar side, due to several attacks by the New People’s Army, which burned heavy equipment used in the construction.

“Protecting this project is not just the role of the national, provincial, or municipal government. It is not solely the responsibility of the military, police force, or the contractor but also requires the cooperation of the community to ensure that this road will be completed on time to achieve your dreams,” Lt. Col. Garcia said.

Currently, the project is 74.74 percent completed, with a total budget cost of P2.704 billion.
Completion of this project will reduce travel time from Borongan City to the Allen port from five hours to approximately three hours.

It will also help promote the tourism potentials of Jipapad and Las Navas, which have untapped and still unexplored tourist destinations that need development and promotion. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)