The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned over three box culvert bridges amounting to a total of P8,550,000 in the municipality of Baleno, Masbate to provide farmers and residents easy access in bringing their produce to various market centers.
OIC-Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Herald Tambal said the bridges were built in three barangays of Baleno namely, Docol with a 3-barrel culvert worth P2,090,000; Batuila with a 4-barrel culvert worth P2,470,000; and Cagara with a 6-barrel culvert amounting to P3,990,000. These bridges connect more distant barangays like Baao, Gabi and Banase to the national road going to Baleno town proper.
“The bridge-like box culverts are designed to allow water from the river to flow under the road without causing erosion or flood during heavy rains. While protecting the community against flood, it also connects one barangay to another, thus, providing safe and easy access to farmers in bringing their produce to market centers,” Tambal said.
Tambal said the project, a partnership between DAR and the local government of Baleno. is funded under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) process formerly known as Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB).
"We are very pleased with our partnership with the local government of Baleno. We commend Mayor Romeo C. Dela Rosa and his constituents for showing great enthusiasm and cooperation in this project. This is a concrete example that the GPB process really works especially in rural areas wherein the projects of the government should always respond to the needs of the community," Tambal said.
GPB is an approach taking into consideration the development needs of cities/municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty reduction action plans that are formulated with strong participation of basic sector organizations and other civil society organizations.
The turnover ceremony was witnessed by incoming Vice Mayor Marites Dela Rosa and other government officials including OIC- Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Floro A. Espares, Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Amadeo C. Cediño and SeniorAgrarian Reform Program Officer Danilo A. Sabaldica of the DAR; OIC-Municipal Engineer Librado T. Elnas and Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Joel G. Esteves of LGU-Baleno; and the Barangay Chairmen of Docol, Batuila and Cagara. (by PIO Ross Aguilar Lustestica)