CAPOOCAN, LEYTE – Construction of an all-weather road leading to this town’s remotest barangay commenced after Tuesday’s ground-breaking rites.
The 5.3-kilometer road project will connect Barangay Balugo, the town’s innermost village, to Barangay Visares.
Regional Director Eliasem Castillo of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) disclosed that the project with a total funding cost of P12.1-million is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) thru the second phase of the Agrarian Reform Community Project (ARCP-2) implemented under the Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Contracted to the Victoria Development and Construction Supply Corp., the farm-to-market road project is expected to be finished by December.
Once completed, Barangay Balugo residents will find it easier transporting goods to and from their village, according to Barangay Kagawad Emma Mercolita. Lesser expenses to be incurred are also seen, she added.
At the moment, Mercolita narrated that in the absence of a road, they walk four kilometers to adjacent Barangay Visares where they can wait for a ride in going to the town proper to transact business.
School children who attend classes in Barangays Visares and Lemon oftentimes are absent, Mercolita shared.
As a result, she explained, many residents in their village now have transferred to other barangays.
But once this road project is completed, Mercolita further disclosed, these residents promised to return because their livelihood is in their barangay.
Balugo is among the town’s largest farming village where 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) together with the 216 from Visares will be directly benefited especially in the marketing of their products.
Presently, farmers pay P75 for every sack of farm products in hauling them to Visares.
Meanwhile Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Leovigildo Monge shared their experience how they got lost on their way back after surveying the area during the preparatory stage.
Mayor Federico Carolino Sr. on the other hand expressed his gratitude to the Office of the President for shouldering part of the 60 percent share of the local government unit (LGU) on the total project cost thru the National Government Assistance to LGUs (NGALGU) making the equity affordable for his municipality for the benefit of his constituents.
Leyte Second District Representative Sergio Apostol, who was also present during the groundbreaking ceremony, was likewise glad with this development because another barangay without a road under his jurisdiction was provided thru the ARCP-2.