THE Municipal Government of La Castellana is banking on the development of roads in Barangay Puso to boost tourism, as well as peace and order in the area.
Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan, who led the groundbreaking of the P4 million worth of concrete road construction project in Barangay Puso Thursday, April 29, 2021, said the barangay had been an insurgency-affected area for a long time already.
In 2013, nine persons were killed while nine others were injured in an ambush staged by suspected New People's Army rebels.
Nicor-Mangilimutan said following the gruesome killing, which was during the term of his father, former mayor Alberto Nicor, several development projects like farm-to-market roads have been poured at the barangay.
"The municipal government along with various government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development through its Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-Cidss) program has been working on developing road network at Barangay Puso," she said, adding that these projects have improved the peace and order situation in the area.
The mayor stressed that "the residents here now realized that there's government supporting them, the government is now closer to them."
Of the total 12-kilometer road within Barangay Puso, about 65 percent was already concretized.
Up for construction following its groundbreaking Thursday is the 350-meter road traversing Sitio Tayubong and Proper Puso.
Funded through the 2020 Local Government Support Fund of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the concreting of road is expected to be completed in two months.
Nicor-Mangilimutan said Barangay Puso also hosts some potential tourist destinations including the Kalangag Spring and Falls.
She said there is also a river in the area that is similar to that in Thailand, adding that one has to ride a boat going to the other side of the river.
"Because of the pandemic, many people nowadays want to go to the mountain so we have so much here to develop for tourists," the official said.
Nicor-Mangilimutan said aside from emergency purposes, the road network will really boost tourism here.
The local government wants to utilize its vast lands not only for agriculture purposes but also tourism promotion, she added.
For his part, Barangay Puso chairman Regie Arnaiz, who was also present at the activity, said it is also their dream to free the barangay from insurgency and make it a tourism spot.