Two North Samar towns
await first RP president’s visit to their area
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 15, 2009
Samar – The people of the hinterland towns of Catubig and Las Navas
both in Northern Samar province, are already excited to welcome
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo into their midst.
If and when her visit
to Northern Samar on Tuesday, June 16, pushes through, President
Gloria will become the first President to visit Catubig and Las Navas,
Las Navas Mayor Arlito Tan said.
The people of Las
Navas have many things to thank the President for. The Catubig-Las
Navas Bridge which the President will inaugurate on Tuesday links the
of Las Navas to Catubig town by land transport.
Ever since, the
municipality of Las Navas has only been accessible through navigation
along the Catubig river with the use of pump boats and bancas. The
pump boats ply from Las Navas to Catubig daily at P40 per person.
These small boats dock at small docking facilities called "Look" in
both Catubig and Las Navas. It only takes 30 minutes to get to Las
Navas from Catubig, and boats traverse the river daily, leaving Las
Navas at 5:00 AM and arrives at around 5:30 AM in Catubig and vice
The municipality of
Las Navas is located at the heart of the island of Samar. It is
bounded on the north by Catubig, Northern Samar, on the east by
Jipapad, Eastern Samar, on the west by Silvino Lubos, Northern Samar
and on the south by the municipality of San Jose de Buan, Western
Motorboats and bancas
are also used in going to the different barangays, although hiking is
still practiced by many barangay folks in going to and from the
“Now that there is
land transport because of the bridge, it will no longer be too
difficult to reach my school at the Las Navas Agri-Industrial School,”
Ms. Viviene who is six months pregnant, said referring to the school
just below the bridge.
Although there is a
complete elementary school district offering all level, the other 39
barangay primary schools offer limited levels. It has a complete
secondary school which offers Agro-Industrial Technology and basic
People in the area get
tertiary courses from an affiliate of the University of Eastern
Philippines (UEP) located in the town of
although well-off families prefer to send their children to various
colleges and universities in Metro Manila, the country's capital.
There is a good reason
to the great excitement and expectation of the people of the two
towns. The HCAAP project when fully completed, will impact a great
change in the economic situation of the people in the area.
Farmers could now
bring their products more easily to Catarman and will also insure that
fresh farm produce from these areas are able to enter the market
without being spoiled and with lesser danger of accidents which the
perils of sea transport brings.
On the other hand,
Catubig, also an inland town, lies on the banks of the Catubig River,
a waterway that empties near Rauis and the traditional passage to the
town. Also called Cagninipa after an aquatic palm, it is located south
The Catubig Valley,
known as the rice-producing valley in Northern Samar, is where one can
find the municipality
of Catubig, identified as the potential site for developing an
intensive rice producing area in Northern Samar.
Said undertaking is
known as the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP),
a priority water sector (irrigation) project which is part of
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Medium Term Development and
Investment Plan under the Super Region scheme.
The project aims to
alleviate poverty by raising income level of farmers, generate
employment opportunities and improve the social infrastructure and
services of the target areas in Catubig and Las Navas, Northern Samar.
The project components are civil works, schistosomiasis control,
agricultural support services, institutional development and
procurement of equipment.
agencies are the National Irrigation Administration as lead agency,
the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Health,
Department of Agriculture, the Province of Northern Samar and the
municipalities of Catubig and Las Navas.
The bridge which the
President will inaugurate is a part of the HCAAP implemented by the
Department of Public Works and Highways.