The Department of Agrarian Reform has turned over some P53.6 million worth of basic infrastructure projects to farmers of the MSS Agrarian Reform Community in Quezon.
DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Jerry Pacturan said the projects include the 5.4-kilometer Cogorin-Mabanban farm-to-market road with bridge, six units of potable water supply systems. Pacturan also led the groundbreaking of a pump irrigation project in Barangay Sto. Nino Ilaya in Lopez, Quezon.
According to Pacturan, the P40.6-million Cogorin-Mabanban road now connects the MSS ARC to the adjoining barangays of Lopez. It is expected to boost business activities in Lopez, Quezon.
“This road with bridge will pave the way for the provision of other basic services like health, technology, transportation and education assistance to the rural communities along the farm-to-market road. The residents and farmers of MSS ARC could now easily avail of those services now that the community is accessible,” he added.
Farmer beneficiary Felixberto Arellano of Sto. Nino said that the road makes travelling and transportation of farm goods from their upland barangays a lot easier and faster, much unlike before when they haveused horses and carabaos to bring their goods to the market and go down from the mountain on foot.
“It was very hard especially during rainy season when the roads are thick with mud and some parts are flooded. Thank God for this road with bridge. Now we don’t have to wait for the flood to recede. We can also do our business faster and easier,” said Arellano.
Sto. Nino Barangay Captain Melix Pasta echoed: “with this road and bridge my children are now spared from trekking at least 45 minutes of rolling terrain just to attend their classes. Public utility vehicles now ply the route regularly at an affordable fare.”
Likewise, the six potable water systems worth P513,374.00 were extended to 150 households in barangays Sto. Nino and Ilaya to provide them with safe and clean drinking water.
DAR Regional Project Manager Erlinda Pearl Armada said that the residents lack potable drinking water. “The water that they get from their wells was not fit for drinking. During the summer these wells become dry. They have to go to the lowlands to buy drinking water which adds up to their daily expenses,” said Armada.
A pump irrigation project worth P12.5 million has already started construction. Armada said that the pump irrigation project can irrigate around 46 hectares of rice land.
“This irrigation system will greatly help farmers double their income as they can maximize rice production to three cropping seasons, unlike before when they relied heavily on rainwater,” said Armada.
In his speech, Lopez Mayor Isaias Ubana urged his constituents to take good care of the basic infrastructure projects that were turned over to them. He pledged to allot funds for the maintenance of the farm-to-market road.
These infrastructure projects were jointly sponsored by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and DAR and implemented under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP).
“These projects are significant in achieving progress in rural communities. These [facilities] are not only implemented to make life easier for Quezon farmers but also to sustain the development of their communities,” said Pacturan.