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By Francis Allan L. Angelo 

PRESIDENT Gloria M. Arroyo got a taste of so-called “boulevards of broken dreams” when she visited two towns in the second congressional district of Iloilo Thursday.

The President first visited Pavia to check the Anilao Bridge and the Pagsangaan-Tigum-Cabugao Norte road concreting projects in the said town.

Mrs. Arroyo also checked the ongoing works in the Pavia portion of the Iloilo Flood Control Project which she ordered finished this year.

The Pagsangaan-Tigum-Cabugao Norte, which was damaged during typhoon Frank, became controversial late last year when Pavia Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta accused Rep. Judy Syjuco of allegedly trying to “hijack” the P28-million project.

Gorriceta, who claimed that he initiated the project, then was mad upon learning that the 4th Engineering District will rehabilitate the road using “dakal-dakal” (sand and gravel) instead of asphalting or concreting.

President Arroyo intervened by ordering the concreting of the 3.4-kilometer provincial road in Pavia.

From Pavia, Mrs. Arroyo went on a bumpy ride on board a coaster of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center to Alimodian, Iloilo where she led the groundbreaking rites for the Nichols Bridge project.

The President experienced the so-called “abortion roads” in Brgys. Aganan, Balabag, Pandac and Hibao-an, Pavia and San Jose, San Miguel en route to Alimodian.

The Department of Public Works and Highways deployed personnel who covered the potholes with sand and gravel in an attempt to afford the President with a smoother ride.

The road leading to San Miguel town proper has been a subject of complaints from residents and motorists after the asphalt pavement was damaged by big trucks carrying aggregates and filling soil.

The 4th Engineering District had promised to fix the road since last year but the road continues to hassle motorists and commuters to the Aleosan (Alimodian-Leon-San Miguel) area.

Interestingly, Rep. Syjuco and husband TESDA Director General Augusto Syjuco were part of the President’s party during the 3-hour visit.

In the briefing on the Nichols Bridge project, Mrs. Arroyo interrupted DPWH Usec. Rafael Yabut and told him to fast-track the project.

Yabut replied that they will work on a 24-7 basis to finish the bridge early.

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