BUGUIAS, Benguet – Residents, particularly the farmers, of Poblacion and Catlubong, Buguias, Benguet, couldn’t contain their happiness during the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) recent turn-over of the P28,298,796 Wallayan-Abbatan-Bot-oan farm-to-market road (FMR) because they have now an easier and safer access to transport their produces to various places.
Regional Director Rodolfo Pangilinan said the concreting of the 5.8-kilometer road is an alternative route that connects Buguias Municipality and the Province of Benguet to Tinoc, in the Province of Ifugao.
“During rainy season when landslides and road cuts are regular occurrences, said road is an important lifeline of the people that’s why we see to it that construction of concrete curb and gutter, stone masonry, reinforced concrete catch basin, pipe culverts, and slope protection, among others, are important in this road project,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said the positive impact of the project would be the reduction of production and marketing cost to the farmers by at least P2 per kilo. Their expenses are lessened significantly especially in transporting the produce from the gardens to the market.
Mayor Ruben Tinda-an and Vice Mayor Dione Baucas accepted the project from Director Pangilinan with the agreement that maintenance of the FMR is the priority of the local government unit and the farmer-beneficiaries.
Tindaan emphasized the necessity of the road for his people’s easy access from one farmland to another considering that production of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onion leeks, sugar beets and Chinese cabbage is the main occupation of the residents.
“Said crops are usually carried manually from the garden to the loading area which is several kilometers away. With the concrete road, the loading area is just above or just below their farms. Non-residents can now travel our communities comfortably and that means more social or business opportunities for our people,” Tindaan said.
Barangay Chairman Melchor Guesey of Catlubong, on the other hand, said that travel time from their farms to the market is already cut by two hours.
Farmer-beneficiaries Medic Waclin and Saling Abadis, aged 88 and 86 respectively, said the road project is really a gift not only for them but more so for the younger generations.
They related that their children and grandchildren will no longer experience the hardships they had been experiencing in carrying vegetables as far as 30 kilometers just to earn money for their basic needs.
The project was funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JICA) and implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways. (Leticia D. Laoagan)
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