BISLAK BRIDGE. A new bridge, measuring at least 320 meters is now open in Vintar, Ilocos Norte. The bridge connects the town’s poblacion area to Barangays Abkir, Alsem, Salsalamagi, PF Alviar, Columbia, Cabisuculan, Malampa, and Manarang, all located north of the Bislak River. (Photo courtesy of DPWH Region 1 FB page)
LAOAG CITY – Residents living on the other side of the Bislak river in Vintar, Ilocos Norte no longer feel isolated when accessing goods and services to the town proper, particularly when the river swells during heavy rains.
For an Abkir village resident like Jojo Cumlat, passing through the newly-opened Bislak bridge, measuring at least 320 meters, is like walking on the clouds in fine weather.
He said gone are days when he needs to change clothes and shoes upon reaching the city proper because his single motorcycle is covered with mud.
Funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the new bridge connects Vintar’s poblacion area to Barangays Abkir, Alsem, Salsalamagi, PF Alviar, Columbia, Cabisuculan, Malampa, and Manarang, all located north of the Bislak River.
“It’s a big relief on our part now that we have a connecting bridge to the town proper. We no longer have to pass through the neighboring Bacarra town in order for us to access our needs,” he said on Saturday.
The Bislak bridge was officially opened to the public on December 21 with 1st District Rep. Ria Christina Fariñas of Ilocos Norte and family leading the inauguration.
Three years ago, Fariñas dad, former Congressman Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas, initiated the project and secured the budget for a total of PHP289,499,010.
“The bridge was realized because of the unity of the national, provincial, local government, and the people of Vintar. With the new bridge, the motoring public not only from Vintar are assured of more convenient and safer travel in our municipality,” said Mayor Larissa Foronda during the inauguration, attended by local officials and some residents.
Foronda said the new bridge will further open up more opportunities in Vintar particularly in the agriculture and tourism sectors.
The mayor said trading centers will be established across the Bislak River where farmers have better access to a wider market.
The municipal government also looks forward to reviving the satellite market in Pallas Valley to stir the economy in the area. Each satellite market has a budget worth PHP2 million from the municipality’s share in RA 7171 or the so-called tobacco excise tax.
“The new bridge is an answered prayer for us residents in Surong Valley. Our produce will easily reach the market without any hassle now. Thank you to our local officials and our government for listening to our needs,” said Arlene Domingsil in an interview Sunday. (PNA)