October 27 2017
GMA Kapuso Foundation (GMAKF), GMA Network’s socio-civic arm, successfully turned over its very first bridge which it constructed for the residents of Barangay Iraya in Buhi, Camarines Sur on October 20.
The hanging bridge which is part of GMAKF’s initiative titled, Kapuso Tulay para sa Kaunlaran project, replaces a typhoon-damaged bridge in Iraya and provides safe passage for residents, especially children who walk to and from the local school. Prior to the construction of the Iraya Steel Hanging Bridge, residents and students ran the risk of falling into the tributary of Buhi lake every time they crossed a makeshift bridge of scraggly steel cables, and later on, slippery bamboo.
GMAKF made sure the bridge it built with the help of partners and sponsors is safe and sturdy. Approximately 30 meters long, the structure is made of steel and concrete and even has solar powered lamps. The landing of the Iraya bridge is made of expanded metal, a reinforced metal mesh material used as flooring, which was first spotted by GMA Kapuso Founder Mel Tiangco while on a personal trip visiting a waterfall in South America. The flooring of the hanging bridge there sported that exact same material.
Turnover ceremonies were led by GMAKF Executive Vice President and COO Rikki Escudero-Catibog. “We are grateful to our generous donors (from the private sector and the general public) and to our partners, for the fruition of GMAKF’s first bridge construction project. We extend our heartfelt thanks first and foremost to the good Lord and to Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, Republic Cement, DMCI, Equator Energy Corporation, NKD International Trading, Davies Paints, DPWH, the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Southern Luzon Command and the local government of Buhi, for their support,” Escudero-Catibog acknowledged.
Present at the GMA Kapuso Foundation’s Iraya bridge inauguration were Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) Senior Vice President for Corporate Planning Yosuke Nishi, D. M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) First Vice President for International Business Development Ronaldo R. Elepaño, Jr., and Republic Cement President Renato Sunico. Also on hand were the Commanding General of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command, Major General Benjamin Madrigal, the assistant division commander of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, Brig. General Chad Isleta, DPWH and DepEd Regional heads.
A day before, on October 19, GMAKF held the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a second steel and concrete hanging bridge which will benefit the Indigenous community of Brgy. San Ramon, also in Buhi, Camarines Sur. Target completion of the second GMAKF bridge, which is estimated to be four times the length of Iraya Bridge, is by March 2018.