Kids forced to use rattan ‘cage bridge’ to cross dangerous river after floods damaged bridge

    MANILA, Philippines – In big cities and towns in the Philippines, you will find a lot of schools within just a few meters away from each other. Students only have to walk a short distance or ride in readily available public transportation to reach their school. Many are also are brought to school in cars and motorcycles.
    Kids Forced to Use Rattan ‘Cage Bridge’ to Cross Dangerous River

    On the other hand, in many rural areas, students have to walk several kilometers to school – and many even had to cross dangerous rivers that don’t have bridges at all! Students could get trapped on the other side during rainy season because floods make the water levels too high and the currents too fast for anyone to cross the river.

    Kids Forced to Use Rattan ‘Cage Bridge’ to Cross Dangerous River
    Photo credit: YouTube / Pablo Banabal - NewsLine Inc

    In Barangay Pichon, Caraga in Davao Oriental, a lot of students have to cross the river to reach school. The provincial government had previously built a bailey bridge across the river but floods damaged the old structure.

    Without a bridge, the kids couldn’t reach Butay Integrated School, the nearest school which was actually around 6 kilometers away from their homes! But the children all want to go to school; thus, their parents made a makeshift ‘cage bridge’ made of rattan, a material readily available in the area.

    Kids Forced to Use Rattan ‘Cage Bridge’ to Cross Dangerous River
    Photo credit: YouTube / Pablo Banabal - NewsLine Inc

    Knowing the government might not be able to provide them anything the kids can use, the parents created a rattan cage ‘car’ where the kids can get in. Then, the kids have to pull themselves across the river inside the cage – it was hard work for these young children but they are willing to do everything they can so they can finish their studies.

    Taking pity on these kids, Butay Integrated School principal Pablo Banabal took a video of some of the students using the rattan cage bridge. It was obvious that the kids are having a hard time using this transport system as it was not just dangerous but also physically exhausting!

    The video has since gone viral. Thanks to Sir Banabal’s post, the post has reached the office of SAP Bong Go who brought this matter to the president’s attention. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar was tasked to look into this issue and check what ways can be done to provide these kids with a better way of crossing the river as soon as possible.

    We’re positive that a safer, better bridge will be constructed here the soonest time possible so that these kids would no longer have to go through this difficult rattan cage bridge just to reach their school!

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express
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