Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: Road project in Cebu spurred growth

SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has highlighted the importance of infrastructure development in the growth of a community saying it is what brings investments and employment opportunities.

Arroyo made this statement during her weekend trip to Naga City in Cebu in which she visited one of her biggest priority projects for Cebu during her presidency -- the Cebu South Road.

In a media briefing, Arroyo said the P1.2 billion expansion and rehabilitation of the Cebu South Road during her time may have spurred growth in the southern part of Cebu, specifically in Naga since it became a city two years after the road was expanded during her administration.

“So I was remembering how all of these things probably helped in the development of this part of Cebu so I was happy that in 2008 Naga became a city. Congratulations to the people of Naga that you have done so much to develop the city — the town before that eventually became a city,” said Arroyo.

Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. agreed with Arroyo’s pronouncements, saying the road has attracted investments and businesses to Naga.

This is the reason why the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been allocating a budget for its maintenance and improvement year after year, he added.

“Actually, the National Government allocates money every year to improve the road. Actually, now, we are in the process of widening these roads and making them better for everyone who uses the roads. We’re continuing widening Naga, San Fernando, and Carcar. So that’s the reason why a lot of investments and businesses come to Naga, because of the infrastructure that’s in place because of these projects,” Gullas said.

Arroyo narrated that when she visited Cebu in 2004 to thank the Cebuanos for their landslide vote for her presidential bid, she was shocked to see that Cebu South Road, which was built by her maternal grandfather, was in an “ugly” state.

“I remember in 2004, my first visit to Cebu to thank the people of Cebu for the one million landslide that you gave me, we passed this way. And that time the road was horrible. I called it the ‘ugly road’. What’s the name of this road? Ugly road. I said, ‘my grandfather must be turning in his grave so we have to fix this road’. Because it was first built by my grandfather, Juan Macaraeg. He was district engineer of the Visayas during the Commonwealth,” she said.