Bulacan’s newly opened Sitio Brown Bridge to improve access for students and farmers

HSBC Philippines
Sitio Brown Bridge
The unfinished bridge in Sitio Malapad na Parang, Barangay Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan in December 2019 before the opening in 2020. Screengrab from GMA Investigative Documentaries.

Bulacan’s Sitio Brown Bridge in Malapad na Parang is expected to improve and provide safer access for students going to school and farmers bringing their harvest to the market.

Sitio Brown Bridge, or the San Miguel-Dona Remedios Trinidad Bridge infrastructure project, finally opened in January 2020 and was inaugurated on February 15 after three long years of construction delay and about a month after a citizen report caught the attention of media.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reports that connects the towns of San Miguel and Dona Remedios Trinidad in the province of Bulacan covers 105 linear meters, with 3 spans, and 7.32 meters width, and cost Php 46-million.

The bridge is very important and vital to the lives of the residents of the area. The development project gives them proper access, convenience and safer way to travel directly benefitting the students and farmers in barangays of Sibul in San Miguel and Kalawakan in DRT.

However, it took 3 years before the bridge was completed.

Unfinished sitio bridge in December 2019. Photo by Rosie Basa.

Rosie Basa, an online food seller who grew up in the area, first posted photos of the unfinished bridge on her Facebook page in December 2019. Her photos got the attention of GMA Investigative Documentaries which proceeded to follow up the story and aired an episode featuring the stories of students who had to ride makeshift rafts when the river water is too high for them to wade into on their legs or the shoulders of their parents.

Good News Pilipinas editor Angie Quadra Balibay talked to Rosie Basa about her citizen report and learned more about what the children of the area had to go through before the bridge was finally opened.

Basa says the school children need to ride the rafts when the water is too high to cross on foot and that when the river water rises due to non-stop rains, they are no longer able to go to school.

If the rains come when the children are already in school, they are sent home earlier to avoid the flooding river.

Now that the bridge is completed, Rosie says the children won’t have to be absent anymore.

Sitio Brown Bridge on January 31, 2020. Photo by Rosie Basa.

Basa says she thought twice before posting the pictures of the unfinished bridge but that her desire to help get the bridge finished prevailed.

“Dapat nga po matagal ko ipost yan kaya lang po nagdadalawang isip ako pero mas nanaig po sa akin yung kagustuhan mapadali matapos yung tulay at nang guminhawa ang mga mamayan ng Malapad na Parang at madami pang sitiong karugtong nito,” she says.

People were grateful to Rosie Basa for her citizen report but she downplays her part in getting the bridge finally finished saying good things come out of ordinary deeds.

“Kahit po di politiko puedeng gumawa nang maganda at kaginhawahan sa life ng maraming tao,” Basa shares.

Gone are the days when the young children of Malapad na Parang have to go through the experience of dangerously and cumbersomely crossing the river in their earnest desire to go to school, causing them to be late in their class, lose focus in their studies, and giving them unnecessary hardship and stress.

The dreams of the young students and residents of Barangay Sibul and Kalawakan have finally come true.

Other bridge projects that opened recently are the Purisima “Lock Bridge” in Palo, Leyte and the Kalibo Bridge in Aklan.

Upcoming bridge projects that promise to give safer and faster travel to commuters are the 3-Island Bridge connecting Panay-Guimaras-Negros and the Bataan-Cavite Mega Bridge over Manila Bay waters.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to citizen reporters like Rosie Basa and the community of Malapad na Parang for the new Sitio Brown Bridge that gives them a safer crossing over the river!

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