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Bantilan Bridge collapse hampers transport of goods between Quezon, Batangas

Transport between the provinces of Batangas and Quezon has been limited due to the collapse of the Bantilan Bridge connecting the two provinces, officials said over the weekend.

According to Batangas 4th District Representative Lianda Bolilia, the collapse of the bridge would have a significant impact on trading between the two provinces, with the only temporary recourse being to reroute traffic.

“Malaking epekto sa pangangalakal, bukod pa don, siyempre ‘yung transportasyon ng mga tao,” said Bolilia in a Sunday report by GMA Regional TV Balitang Southern Tagalog's Andrew Bernardo on “24 Oras Weekend.”

(This will have a big effect on trading, aside from, of course, the transportation of people.)

The Bantilan Bridge was among the major infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Naegi), as earlier reported by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said the 30-meter bridge was washed away by debris such as logs, but an alternative road could still be used when traveling between Batangas and Quezon.

For his part, Batangas Police Provincial Office (PPO) Director Police Colonel Pedro Soliba said barriers are set to be placed to prevent any travelers from attempting to cross the river section where the bridge used to be.

“Obligadong bantayan natin, dagdagan natin ng mga concrete barrier para masiguro natin na wala nang mag-attempt pang dumaan,” he said.

(We need to guard the river crossing and add concrete barriers to ensure that nobody attempts to cross.)

Tropical Storm Paeng was moving west-southwest as of Sunday afternoon. However, the storm was expected to track north-northwestward or northwestward by Sunday evening or early Monday.

Paeng left the country with at least 48 fatalities and affected almost a million others. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/DVM, GMA News