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Tampakan local officials, tribal leaders laud SMI for P65-M road rehab project


SMI ROAD PROJECT. Sagittarius Mines Inc. President Jake Lagonera leads the inauguration and turnover ceremony of road rehabilitation project worth P62 million to barangay and local officials of Tampakan, South Cotabato. The rehabilitation of the seven kilometer mountainous road was undertaken by SMI to provide access to remote villages of Tampakan and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur for efficient delivery of basic services for Indigenous People’s communities in the area. The ceremony was attended by local officials of Tampakan led by former Mayor Leonardo Escobillo who represented his son, incumbent Mayor Leonardo Escobillo Jr, village and tribal officials of Barangay Danlag led by barangay chairman Judith Magbanua. The road project was part of the community development project of SMI which is currently pursuing a multi-million dollar copper mining project in Tampakan and adjacent Kiblawan town in Davao del Sur. MINDANAO MEDIA SERVICES

TAMPAKAN, SOUTH COTABATO- Local officials and tribal leaders here lauded the Sagittarius Mines Inc. for the rehabilitation of the seven-kilometer stretch mountainous road which serves as access to remote villages bordering the towns Tampakan and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.

SMI President Jake Lagonera graced on October 1 the inauguration and turnover ceremony of the P65-million road rehabilitation project in Barangay Danlag which was attended by local officials of Tampakan led by former Mayor Leonardo Escobillo and Danlag barangay chairman Judith Magbanua.

Joselito Kakilala, SMI community relations director, said the road project was part of the company’s social development management program which was aimed at providing community development projects for the indigenous people’s communities in the locality.

Village chair Judith Magbanua said the barangay council and local tribal council chaired by Dalima Damling had earlier asked the management of SMI to undertake the rehabilitation of the road which serves as a passage for local farmers from far-flung villages of Tampakan, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat who transport their produce to market centers in Poblacion Tampakan.

She said the rehabilitated road will also expedite the delivery of basic services including health and education where school children from remote villages can pass the highway with convenience leading to their respective schools.

Before its repair, only motorcycles can pass the rugged highway.

“The tribal leaders and barangay officials are grateful to SMI officials for their initiative to undertake community development projects for the IP communities of Tampakan,” Magbanua said.

Tribal chieftain Dalima Samling said the road project will provide accessibility to the tribal communities which can now be reached by the local government to deliver basic social services in the area.

Bong Mal tribal leader Dot Capion lamented that the dilapidated road condition in the previous years had cost the life of his ailing child who died while on the way to a local hospital.

He recounted that since there was no available transportation, he opted to walk for several hours just to reach Tampakan poblacion to bring his ailing son for treatment.

He thanked SMI officials for implementing community development projects that will benefit the local IP communities.

Lagonera said the company will be in coordination with local and barangay officials for the implementation of community development projects that will benefit the tribal communities of Tampakan.

He said the company is presently undertaking the rehabilitation of some 10-kilometer road worth P40 million leading to remote mountain villages of Barangay Tablu.

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