ILAGAN, Isabela, March 12 (PIA) -- The provincial government of Isabela said it has yet to finalize the controversial Ilagan-to-Divilacan Road project even as it assured stakeholders it will not harm the environment.
Governor Faustino Dy III during the 2nd Consultative Meeting on the project held at the Ilagan Sanctuary here told participants the provincial government needed all the assistance of the people to finally rehabilitate the existing logging road crossing the Sierra Madre mountains to the Pacific.
Once completed, the P2-billion road will open the coastal municipalities of Divilacan, Maconacon, Pinapigue, and Palanan to mainstream development, Governor Dy said.
In a presentation by the proponents, it was learned that although the proposed road project is a provincial road, it will use applicable pertinent DPWH design guidelines and engineering standards according to the National Structural Code of the Philippines.
However, the project has been met with opposition from cause-oriented groups as they claim the environment and the indigenous Dumagats, an Agta tribal group living in the area will be disturbed, but the proponents claimed that the said tribal group has already executed a memorandum of agreement among the provincial government of Isabela, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Agta indigenous peoples.
In a multi-media presentation, the proponent claimed that the IPs have authorized them to proceed with the project.
Perla Visorro of the Cagayan Valley Peoples Progress and Development, a Cagayan-based civil society group that protects environment, said there should be a reliable survey on the real number of indigenous peoples in the affected barangays for agencies to fully address their needs. (TCB/BSY-PIA)