MANILA, June 30 -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)has opened a farm-to-market road in San Andres, Catanduanes this week , a project described as “crucial for survival” of an agrarian reform community of about 5,332 people in the area.
DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” inaugurated the PHP21.632-million road project in Barangay San Isidro, San Andres town.
Mariano said that the road was the last phase under the joint program of the DAR and the Japan-sponsored Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP),which is now on its third phase of implementation.
The project is a combination of half-concrete road works normally covering steep portions of the road, and half gravel and sand.
Mariano said the project would benefit the local residents belonging to the Burabod Agrarian Reform Community (ARC).
He said the second phase of the road project worth PHP18 million would soon be implemented to ensure the safety of commuters passing to and from the steep Mayngaway-Calomagon –San Isidro farm-to-market road that is cascading through the Mount Ayenit.
Burabod is an expanded ARC of six barangays, from the original two barangays of Bislig and Cabcab, the nearest to the town proper. Barangay San Isidro is the farthest being 20 kilometers away.
Since Barangay San Isidro sits on the footsteps of the mountain ranges, a heavy downpour in the area is enough to cut off the community from the town proper as the level of water in the river quickly rises, according to Mariano.
Barangay San Isidro Chairman Efren Tan said the road served as the residents alternate route to the town proper since their access road is actually the river bed of the Mayngaway River.
The river, according to him, dries up during summer and turns into a roaring tide of rainwater that rushes down from the mountain ranges during rainy season.
“The completion of the road just came at the right time since the rainy season is already on,”Tan said, adding that the people suffer a lot whenever there is a heavy downpour.
“We could not venture out of our homes because the surging river goes up as high as nearly two meters and the current is too strong so that it is actually suicidal to try crossing it,”he said, adding that it takes at least a week before the river subsides to the level a man can handle.
Tan said the new road would also reduce the mortality rate in their barangay since they could bring their ailing community members with ease, unlike before when they manually carry them on a cradle, or on a sled pulled by a carabao to their only access road then, which was impassable to tricycles and any four wheel vehicles, he explained.
With the new road traveling becomes easier and affordable.It will also enable students to enjoy San Andres Mayor Peter Cua’s pet project, dubbed as “Pasada Escuela,” a free ride to and from barangay and poblacion to school of students and residents alike, he said,
The farmers were also expected to enjoy greater economic opportunities as they could market their products at a fair price and purchase farm inputs at lower price, he said. (MLG/PNA)