Monday, December 13, 2010

Philippine troops complete Saudi-financed road project in Mindanao

Photo released by the Philippine Army shows Muslim students in Basilan province hold placards thanking the Philippine military for the rehabilitation Monday, December 13, 2010 of a 29-kilometer road project which links the towns of Tipo-Tipo and Maluso. The project was funded by the Saudi Arabian government. (Mindanao Examiner)

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 13, 2010) – The Philippine military turned over Monday to the local government a rehabilitated road linking two towns in the southern province of Basilan, officials said.

Officials said the 29-kilometer road project was worth over P57 million and part of the 135-kilometer long Basilan Circumferential Road which was funded by Saudi Arabia.

Major Alfonso Enriquez, of the Army’s 55th Engineer Brigade, said the road links the towns of Tipo-Tipo and Maluso. He said 55th Engineer Brigade chief Brigadier General Michaelo Salvaleon handed over the project to the provincial deputy governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul in the presence of Army chief Lieutenant General Arturo Ortiz who was invited to the ceremony.

“The newly-rehabilitated portion of the circumferential road will benefit the local population and will hasten the transport of agricultural products and commercial goods and spur economic activities in Basilan. We want to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this road project,” Enriquez said.

The circumferential road also extends to four other towns of Lamitan, Ungkaya Pukan, Al Barka and Sumisip where some 300,000 people live.

Enriquez said the project was implemented by the Joint Engineer Task Force “Kaunlaran Basilan” which was composed of Engineer Maintenance Support Battalion and the 55th Engineer Brigade, including the 1st Naval Construction Battalion.

He said the funding for the road rehabilitation came from the Kalayaan sa Barangay Program released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the 55th Engineer Brigade.

The Saudi Fund Development funded more than P1 billion to implement the circumferential road project which began in 2005. (Mindanao Examiner)

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