The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Japanese government provided P43.9-million worth of farm-to-market roads to boost the quality of lives of the farmers in the province of Pangasinan.
The 13.5-kilometer farm-to-market road in the municipality of Tayug, costing P33.9-million, and the 4.7-kilometer road in the town of Sto. Tomas, worth P10-million, are implemented under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP), funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The rehabilitated road in the municipality of Tayug linked seven barangays composed of Saleng, Evangelista, Panganiban, Lawak, Lichaico, Zamora and Toketek to the town proper, allowing farmers to market their produce on their own. The farm-to-market road is reinforced with 79.7-meter vented spillway.
The farm-to-market road is located in Saleng, Evangelista, Lawak, Lichaico or SELL agrarian reform community (ARC) with 1,117 actual beneficiaries.
Pangasinan Representative Marlyn Primicias-Gabas lauded the DAR for improving the road condition, which is expected to ease transport service even up to far-flung areas.
Gabas recalled that local residents were forced to walk for few more kilometers as public utility vehicles usually cut short their trips due to poor road condition.
“With the well-paved road, I am expecting a big turn around in the economic activities here for the benefit of the local residents and of the community,” she said.
“Farmers’ travel time to the markets will be reduced as well as their transportation cost, while students will have an easier time going to and from their schools,” she added.
In the municipality of Sto. Tomas, the farm-to-market road that connects barangays San Antonio and Sto. Domingo is located in La Santos ARC with about 940 families benefitting from it.
Sto. Tomas Mayor Timoteo Villar said that the farmers are very happy with the infrastructure project because they can transport their products to various markets without delay.
“They give us this road to make life easier for us, we promise that we will take care of it,” he added.
JICA Chief Representative Takahiro Sasaki said his agency, representing the Japanese government, believes that uplifting the living condition of the poor people would help give the rural communities a sense of peace.
Sasaki said that the road has opened a lot of investment opportunities for the benefit of the local residents and farmers.
“Through DAR, we are able to reach out to the farmers and implement support services that will boost their incomes,” Sasaki said.