DAR’S Bridge Project To Open Up Development Potentials Of Isolated ARCs

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dar web news 1 pix 1 jan. 24 2014 400DINGALAN, Aurora ----- Isolated Communities in Aurora and Quezon Provinces are now directly linked through a newly constructed bridge that will boost the economic development not only in these provinces but in both Regions 3 and 4-A as well.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned-over yesterday the Yen ¥793 million(about Php 350 million) Umiray Bridge that now connects Dingalan town in Aurora Province with General Nakar in Quezon Province.

DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said that under the department’s Program Beneficiaries Development, the DAR provides for improving access of agrarian reform communities (ARCs) to economic and social services.

“The construction of the Umiray Bridge will change the lives of the people here. The bridge will not only improve their living conditions, it will also open opportunities for economic growth and development of about 11,000 hectares of agricultural lands,” said De los Reyes.
De los Reyes said that more than 30,000 people will benefit from the bridge including some 13,000 farming families living in five agrarian reform communities namely, Umiray, Poblacion, Ibona, Gen. Nakar and Matawe.

“With this bridge, farmers’ income will improve for they can now cross the river and transport their farm yield with ease and with minimal travel expense,” De los Reyes said.dar web news 1 pix 2 jan. 24 2014 400

According to DAR Undersecretary/Project Implementation Officer for Foreign Assisted Projects Jerry Pacturan, before the construction of the bridge, farmers and residents of Dingalan, Aurora and Gen. Nakar, Quezon, rode boats to get to the other side. “If the water level of the river is low, vehicles can cross but they have to go through a 30-kilometer logging road along a hilly and very rugged terrain. That’s added expense for farmers who pay P70.00 manual hauling fee per sack of their produce and another P20.00 for boat fare”, Pacturan said.

Pacturan added that majority of these communities, located in the eastern part of the Quezon, are presently separated by the Umiray River from mainland Aurora and have been physically isolated from government’s basic services especially during heavy rains.

“With the construction of Umiray bridge, farmers now pay only P15.00 hauling fee per sack, a clear savings of P55.00 per sack”, explains Pacturan.

The 358-linear meter bridge project was implemented by DAR with funding under Grant-Aid Program of the Government of Japan (GoJ) through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (admin-pamrs)