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Saturday, April 20, 2024

New service vehicles ease life for Zambales villagers

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IBA, Zambales—Zambales barangay officials thanked the provincial government for providing a new service vehicle for each of the 230 barangays in the province.

The vehicles, which were released in batches among the 13 municipalities, were meant to improve community mobility and increase access by residents to government services, said Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr.

The vehicles were all Isuzu Traviz light-duty trucks configured as utility vans and can comfortably seat 18 passengers and the driver. With the seats folded, the trucks can take in cargo of up to 1,665 kilograms.

The trucks are expected to be an essential workhorse for various barangay operations, especially those in remote areas, Ebdane also pointed out.

The barangay service vans were procured along with various motor vehicles and heavy equipment covered by a P2.6-billion loan facility for priority development projects of the provincial government.

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Barangay chairman Roselen Tabunday, 66, from the upland barangay of Maguisguis in Botolan, said the new Traviz vans are especially crucial during health emergencies.

Kung may mga magpapagamot galing sa Baytan (eastern villages) o may manganganak na dadalhin sa ospital ay tamang-tama ito (This is helpful for those who go to Baytan for medical attention or women who need to be taken to the hospital to give birth),” Tabunday said.

Other than being used by the barangay council, the new Traviz van is also being borrowed for transport by schools in Maguisguis that have no vehicles of their own.

Sobrang laking tulong ito para sa barangay (This is a great help to the village),” echoed Poonbato barangay chairman Gary Guevarra, 46. He noted that their Traviz vehicle also serves as the patrol car for barangay tanods at night.

Both Tabunday and Guevarra said the new Traviz trucks are way better than the multicabs issued to them previously.

In San Felipe, barangay kagawad Helen Reguindin, 61, said their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic had emphasized the need for a service vehicle that they could use in remote communities like Paite, which is about seven kilometers from the town proper.

She said that the barangay has been issued a tricycle, but this has been given for the priority use of members of the indigenous Ayta tribe in the area.

Malayo ang lugar namin. Kung sakaling may mga emergency, kailangan talaga na may sasakyang magagamit (Our place is very far. In cases of emergency, we really need a vehicle to use),” Reguindin said.

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