The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 13 (Caraga) and the provincial government of Agusan del Sur have formally turned over the PHP152-million farm-to-market road (FMR) project to village officials in the town of San Luis.
The FMR, funded under the DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), was completed last month and turned over to the local officials and farmers on Wednesday.
Emmylou Presilda, information officer of DA-13, told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday that the FMR will be of great help to the residents, especially farmers, in Barangay Doña Maxima.
“The FMR has a total length of 8.93-kilometer and will primarily benefit the rubber farmers and other residents who are engaged in high-value crops farming in the area,” Presilda said.
She added that farmers from the nearby Barangays Mahapag and Muritula of the same town will also benefit from the newly-completed FMR that directly links some 763 farming households from the three villages to the market centers in Agusan del Sur.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the DA-13 said that aside from the 763 farming households, around 1,710 other families from the three barangays will also benefit from the project.
“The road will provide an easy flow of transportation for farmers’ goods particularly rubber and primary services in the three barangays. Moreover, the concrete road reduces average travel time from 20 minutes to 10 minutes in transporting the end product of rubber such as cup lumps, will reduce post-harvest losses and transportation costs, and will increase the income of farmers in the area,” the agency said.
In the same statement, Barangay Captain Jaime Madanlo of Doña Maxima thanked the government for providing the farmers with access road.
“Since 1972, we have been dreaming of this road. As a resident and a farmer, I experienced the struggle of getting our products into the market. Sometimes my products will be rotten on my farm due to the difficulty of delivering our goods. This is a dream come true and a wonderful gift to us,” Madanlo said.
For his part, Anggaman Escalicas, the barangay captain of Muritula, urged the local officials in the area to convene to craft policies for the maintenance of the FMR.
“As officials, we will do our part to maintain our roads, away from abuse. I ask for 100 percent support from my fellow constituents and officials to keep our road clean and peaceful,” Escalicas said.
The turnover activity was led by DA-13 Regional Executive Director Ricardo Oñate, Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr., and San Luis Mayor Phoebe Corvera. (PNA)