The 665-meter Sugpon bridge, said to be the longest bridge in Ilocos Sur, provides an accessible road network to the upland town from the municipality of Bangar in LA Union (JDS/PIA-La Union)

Roughly an hour and a half or 56 kilometers from San Fernando City, La Union, one can reach the quiet and mountainous town of Sugpon in Ilocos Sur. It is one of the biggest towns in Ilocos Sur in terms of land area but the second smallest in terms of population with 4,585 people based on the 2015 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Earlier this year, one of the major infrastructure projects, the Sugpon Bridge, was finally completed that ushered an accessible road network with the nearby municipality of Bangar in La Union. The 665-meter all-weather bridge, which crosses the Amburayan River, is said to be the longest bridge in Ilocos Sur.

“For the past years, we crossed the Amburayan River through a balsa (water raft), costing us P20 each while a rider with his motorcycle is charged P50,” Dario Ragmac, Area Coordinator of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), said.

He added, “During emergencies, like at nighttime, patients cannot be transported outside the municipality because residents cannot take the risk of crossing the river with a water raft or small boat especially on rainy season.”

Even jeepneys have a hard time traversing the river bed of Amburayan in summer according to Noemi Latung, resident of Poblacion, Sugpon.

“Sugpon bridge is really a big help to us especially in the transport of goods and products in and out of the municipality,” Latung shares.

Credits: PIA