On 14 November 2016, MinYas Mangorsi posted a Facebook video showing two schoolchildren crossing an improvised bridge on the way to school.
The “bridge”, situated in a rural part of Iligan City in Mindanao, was just a pair of ropes held up by wooden stilts, over a raging river.
The two kids face mortal danger as they pass through this flimsy structure every day.
The video quickly went viral after it was reuploaded a day later by digital activist Mocha Uson on her Facebook page, with a total of 2 million views so far.
But the story didn’t end there.
DPWH Sec. Mark VillarNow, if you've been following the ThinkingPinoy Facebook page, I interviewed Public Works Secretary Mark Villar on 04 November 2016, so I maintained contact with DPWH since then.
On the same day Mocha Uson reposted the viral video, Sec. Villar’s media officer Anna Mae Llamentillo (DPWH) messaged me.
The following conversation ensued:
DPWH: Mocha posted a video of kids. Would you know location? Could I get her contact details? I showed Sec. (Villar) the video. We at DPWH can help.
ThinkingPinoy (TP): “Ayy! Yung nasa ilog?“(Oh! The one at the river?)”
TP: Ask ko sa manager ni Mocha. (I’ll ask Mocha’s manager.)
TP: Uy ‘teh, it’s in G'tum, Brgy. Lanipao, Iligan City. Kung may plano kayong gawin, let me know. People want to know kasi. (Hey sis, it’s in G'tum, Brgy. Lanipao, Iligan City. If you plan to do something, let me know. Because people want to know.)
DPWH: Gotcha. Papupuntahan pa namin. 🙂Super duper thank you! (Gotcha. We’re sending somebody there. Super duper thank you!)And there I was, amazed by the idea that social media is real. But wait! There’s more.
DPWH to build bridgeJust tonight, DPWH’s Llamentillo messaged me again to give an update.
DPWH: Hahaha! Sabi ni Sec Villar, ipapagawa na namin yung bridge! May short-term at long-term. Bigyan kita ng details bukas. Baka umpisa na next week, pinagawan lang namin muna ng design. Hahahaha! (Hahahah! Sec. Villar said we’re going to build the bridge! There’s a short-term and a long-term [bridge]. I’ll give you details tomorrow. We might start building next week, we’re just had to get designs first.)
TP: Ang taray! Paano plano? Jusko tulo luha ko nong napanood yong video. (So fierce! What’s the plan? My god, I shed tears when I watched that video.)
DPWH: Balak namin by December pero we're still checking feasibility… Outside of our jurisdiction kasi. Kailangan pa namin magpasintabi sa LGU. Hahahaha! (We plan [to build] by December but we’re still checking feasibility because it’s outside our jurisdiction. We still have to ask clearance from the LGU [Local Government Unit]. Hahahaha!)
TP: Papayag yon malamang. (They will probably give consent.)
DPWH: Ayusin ko lang yung permit. Hahaha! (I’ll just secure the permit. Hahaha!)
DPWH: GMA reported about it [GMA] and Ivan Mayrina said he wasn’t able to get a statement from the LGU so we just assumed responsibility. Sec Villar said we can just take the initiative and do it.
TP: Oo nga, tama na tsaka na muna ang sisihan, mga bata muna. (I agree. It’s just right to set aside the blaming for now, let’s think about the kids first.)
Short-term bridge now, long-term bridge laterLlamentillo said they will construct the temporary bridge in as early as December, with a long-term, sturdier bridge to follow.
DPWH: May initial report na ako kanina. Napuntahan na ng tao namin. Pabibilisan namin ‘to. (I received the initial report earlier today. Our field agents have inspected the area. We will do this ASAP.)
TP: Alam mo ba sabi nung mga readers ko? Kahit hanging bridge lang daw muna. Basta lang daw di sila mahulog. (You know what my readers said? Even a simple hanging bridge will do, just so they won’t fall to their deaths.)
DPWH: Hanging bridge nga yung ipapagawa naming as a temporary solution. Yun yung “short term” na sinabi ko earlier. Pero maganda ang design. Di naman masyadong bara-bara. Yung long-term bridge, pinag-aaralan pa, mas complex kasi yon. (Yeah, we’re building a hanging bridge as a temporary solution, that’s the “short term” I was referring to earlier. But the design is good, it’s well thought out. We are still studying the long-term bridge option because that’s a more complex issue.)
TP: Ayyy sige! Isusulat ko to! (Oh, okay! I’ll blog about this!)
DPWH: Pabibilisan namin ‘to. Yung actual construction one month long daw kasi 30 meters ang lapad ng ilog. (We’ll complete the project at the soonest. The actual construction takes a month because the river is 30 meters wide.)
TP: Sige, sige iba-blog ko! Yehey! (Okay, okay, I’ll blog about this! Yahoo!)
DPWH: Hahahaha! Exciting!
TP: Yes it is!
So there it is. These are one of those moments when I feel that this country still has hope! [ThinkingPinoy]
DONT FORGET TO SHARE!
Did you like this post? Help ThinkingPinoy stay up! Even as little as 50 pesos will be a great help!