MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Mar 14 (PIA) – Hinunangan town will be a lot closer to the provincial capital with the plan to build a new road connecting the provincial capital to one of the farthest town in the eastern tip of Southern Leyte province, Department of Public Works and Highways – Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (DPWH-SLDEO) Engr. Ma. Margarita Junia disclosed.

The DPWH-SLDEO will come up with project cost after the conduct of feasibility study for the Maasin–Bontoc-Sogod-Hinunangan Road this year, she said

It was learned that  DPWH eyes the completion of the proposed project within five years, based on preliminary plans.

From the existing 153-kilometer national highway, traversing 11 towns, it will be reduced to 69 kilometers, crossing only two towns between Maasin City and Hinunangan, the source added.

The proposed project will upgrade the existing 35-kilometer road that links the city to Bontoc town and some parts of Sogod. The highway will be widened to 6.7 meters from the existing five meters.

It requires the opening of a 24-kilometer mountainous trail from Buenavista village in Bontoc to San Miguel village in Sogod and from Buac Gamay village in Sogod to Calag-itan village in Hinunangan, Junia bared.

Aside from cutting travel time, the road is expected to bring economic opportunities to sleepy upland villages of Bontoc, Sogod, and Hinunangan towns.

Hinunangan is a 3rd class town with a population of 29,976 based on the 2015 official count. According to the local government website, it is known as the "rice granary of the province" for its vast plain land entirely planted to rice.

The town is also a producer of rattan and wood-based furnitures, abaca handicrafts items, pineapple, vegetables, other forest products, and bamboo furnitures.  The town’s picturesque sand beaches and islands has been attracting tourism-related investments owned by immigrants from Europe and North America, added the source.

Hinunangan is also known as a major gateway in Leyte because of its near proximity to Tacloban City, the regional capital. The opening of Abuyog-Silago Road cuts travel time from the major city by half from the previous six hours to less than three hours. (rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte))