Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road in Zamboanga Sibugay now fully-paved

In the past, getting around the province of Zamboanga Sibugay can be challenging because many of its highways have been left to neglect or hadn’t been completed at all, which is a nightmare for the locals driving to bring their produce to town. Their trips are made even worse when the rainy season comes.

Now, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported that a key and long-awaited road project in the province has now contributed to the development of agribusiness, ecotourism, and logistics in the island of Olutanga and the town of Alicia.

In a report by Emil K. Sadain, DPWH’s senior undersecretary, the once terrible and horrible travel experienced by the locals because of deep muddy roads is now over with the concrete paving of the Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road.

DPWH completes 30 kilometers of Zamboanga Sibugay roads image

The 29.7-kilometer Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road is one of the three core road projects under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP). It is implemented and completed by DPWH thru its Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) - Roads Management Cluster II (Multilateral) and is a game changer for the socio-economic growth and development of Alicia and Olutanga Island.

The long-term impact of the project will contribute to sustaining peace and security on the island, as well as harness the socio-economic opportunities and growth of the communities. Oluntanga Island has a vast tourism and agro-fishery potential with its long coastline of beaches, snorkeling and diving sites, production of high-value aqua and fisheries products especially the fish cage farming of lapu-lapu, dried fish-making, and seaweed industry. 

DPWH completes 30 kilometers of Zamboanga Sibugay roads image

The PHP 25.257 billion IGCMRSP finance with a loan amounting to PHP 19.080 billion by the ADB and PHP 6.117 billion to be funded by the Philippine government, is composed of eight sub-projects with Portland concrete cement paving its 151-kilometer road and construction of 31 bridges with a total length 2.1 kilometers all located in Zamboanga Peninsula. All three bridges are located in the island province of Tawi-Tawi and have a total gross length of 1.8 kilometers.

Additionally, according to Sadain, the construction of an inter-island Guicam Bridge, which is a separate non-core component of IGCMRSP connected with the Lutiman-Guicam-Olutanga Road, is about 43% complete and is targeted for completion by 2024.