DPWH
Photo: via NewsLine

MANILA (PNA) — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been urged to build a bridge for residents of Barangay Pichon, Caraga, Davao Oriental following reports that students in the area are using an improvised rattan cable to cross the river to go to school.

President Duterte’s top aide Christopher “Bong” Go made the call after Pablo Banabal, principal of Butay Integrated School, shared a video of his students riding in the rattan cable in his Facebook account.

“Naawa ako sa mga estudyante, binaliwala ang takot na sumakay sa rattan cable para lang makapasok (I pitied the students who defied fear to ride the rattan cable just to go to school),” Go was quoted saying in a News Line Philippines report posted on its website newsline.ph Friday.

“The President vowed to support all students especially those in the remote areas, kaya magpadala kami ng (that’s why we’re sending a) team to check the condition of the river and ultimately build a bridge for the students and the people in the area,” he added.

Go asked the DPWH and other line agencies to evaluate the situation and eventually build a bridge to prevent students from going to school by taking a dangerous route.

The same report showed that schoolchildren started using the rattan cable daily after floodwaters swept the Bailey bridge constructed by the provincial government.

“We decided to have our own version of a bridge using our ethnic way. The rattan bridge worked, and it is serving us,” Banabal said. Banabal expressed gratitude to Go for addressing the students’ problem.

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“I am so happy, narinig na ang prayer namin (our prayer was answered),” the principal said.

The village of Butay is the education hub for about 300 Mandaya learners who walk for six hours to reach the village.