Getting people and goods from one bank of the river to the other in Barangay Palkan, in Polomolok, South Cotabato, became even more of a problem (left photo) after a makeshift footbridge, which was regularly covered by water during heavy rainfall, was found to be unsafe for pedestrians. As of last month, however, the community can rely on a new Barangay Bridge (right photo) for safe and efficient transport. The reinforced concrete bridge and culvert was built by USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program—through its Barangay Infrastructure Project (BIP)— in partnership with the municipal government of Polomolok, which covered about 25 percent of the project cost. To date, more than 1,230 “BIPs” have been completed by GEM across Mindanao, in collaboration with local governments and under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority.
Published in www.usnewslasvegas.com, July 17, 2011; www.thesaigonnewsoflasvegas.com, July 17, 2011; www.mindanao.com, July 18, 2011