TANGUB CITY -- The PHP4.8-billion Panguil Bay Bridge project, which starts next month, will not only boost economic activities between the provinces of Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte but will also become an avenue for educational development.
Tangub City Mayor Philip Tan said on Wednesday that he expects a drastic increase in enrollment in two of the city's higher learning institutions once the bridge is completed in 2021.
The city is home to the government-run Governor Alfonso D. Tan College and the Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology (NMSCST).
"Since people will now have easier access to travel to Tangub, especially folks from Lanao del Norte, we are already anticipating that more and more students from our neighboring provinces will come and study here in Tangub, especially that we have two colleges that offer free education to all students who wish to pursue and finish their college studies," Tan said.
NMSCST president Dr. Jennifer Tan agreed, saying that the bridge means easier access for visitors who can contribute, not only to the city's economy but in improving its educational institutions as well.
“The ongoing construction of multimillion projects of the school and improving the facilities by submitting to (a) series of accreditation survey visits, and upgrading the faculty profile of the college are just few of the preparations to cater to the needs (of) and provide quality education to students," she said.
NMSCST almost tripled its enrollment this year following the enactment of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education.
Tan said a projected increase of 85 percent is on the horizon once the Panguil Bay Bridge is completed.
"Students from other places will become more interested in investing their future to education, knowing that NMSCST is now clinching towards academic excellence," she said.
The Tans -- who are husband and wife -- noted that the bridge has been a "20-year dream" for both the city and its neighboring municipality of Tubod, the government seat of Lanao del Norte.
The Tangub-Tubod route would take only five minutes once the bridge is completed, compared to the sea route that takes an hour or two for barges to cross. (PNA)