These small scale miners will attempt to open a portion of the Buguias-Tinoc-Hungduan Road which was washed out during typhoon Ompong. Incidentally, these miners are also victims of 'Ompong" (nternational name Manghut) that caused massive landslides in Itogon and killing dozens of individuals.
"We are now preparing for another mission, this time in the landslide affected barangay of Tucukan, Tinoc," Jake Gayog said in an interview.
Gayog said that a team composed of more than 20 small scale miners will proceed to Tinoc this week to conduct blasting and clearing operations to open a safer road for the residents of the area.
Since the road cut in September, residents have to walk more than three hours climbing up and down the mountain side which is their alternate route for the meantime.
Gayog related that while they were in Natonin, a social media post about children and some residents in Tinoc crossing the dangerous road to go to the annual district sports meet in Poblacion, Tinoc was relayed to their team.
"The social media post touched our hearts so we decided to proceed to the area after the turn over of responsibility of the search rescue and retrieval operations in Natonin on Nov. 9 to see what we can do to help more of our kababayans," he said.
Following their ocular inspection of the area last week, Gayog said it is a challenge but he said they will push through with the task with the support of various individuals and groups, some pledging to lend heavy equipment and blasting equipment.
On Friday (Nov.16), Gayog personally turned over a letter to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar telling the story of the damaged road and asking support for its opening during the District Engineers League of the Philippines Convention in Baguio City.
"Barangay Tukucan, a tiny farming village in Tinoc, Ifugao is appealing for urgent help for the rehabilitation of their main road commonly known as Spanish Trail. The road was devastated from the super typhoon Mangkhut and to this day, the road remains to pose serious danger to the community as they start rebuilding their lives," the letter reads.
Gayog also noted in his letter that as per information from the Office of Ifugao Congressman Teddy Baguilat, the DPWH regional office has endorsed a program of work in the amount of P 100 million for the rehabilitation of the road next year.
"It is heartbreaking to see how the villagers especially the children and elders try to cope with the seriousness of their situation. The villagers have not much recourse but to hope for an intervention for a long term solution."
"As volunteers, we would like to direct their grievances to Department of Public Works and Highways for the immediate road rehabilitation," he said. By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)