Zamboanga Peninsula has more than P1.52 billion portfolio under the Infrastructure Development component of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) out of the P18.5 Billion project cost allocation nationwide.

In a press conference held in Ipil last week, Regional Director Constancio G. Alama bared the accomplishments and on-going activities of PRDP in Region IX since December 2014.

“Lots of activities were undertaken in the field yet we missed to inform the people fully. We need you to amplify the things we have done, not only in PRDP but all the programs and projects undertaken by DA,” Regional Director Constancio G. Alama told the media practitioners in Zamboanga Sibugay.

PRDP is a 6 year development platform of the national government from 2014 -2020 aimed at enabling communities and expanding opportunities that help farmers and fisherfolk raise their income, productivity and competitiveness. It is a P27.5 Billion project jointly funded by World Bank, National Government thru the Department of Agriculture and the Local Government Units, Alama said.

RD Alama reported that in the first year of PRDP engagement in Region IX, it secured some P1.52 Billion portfolio for the Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics Development (I-BUILD) otherwise called as Infrastructure Development component.

The P1.52 Billion portfolio is allocated to Zamboanga Peninsula’s 18 approved subprojects with NOL1 which are the rehabilitation and concreting of farm-to-market roads (FMRs) distributed to the three provinces – Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur.

However, only 12 subprojects of the 18 were issued NOL2 and now in the implementation stage which are rehabilitation and concreting of 57.888 kilometer FMRS with a total project cost of P660 Million.

Bulk of which or the 37.5678 kilometers are in the six municipalities of Zamboanga Sibugay, namely: Alicia, Buug, RT Lim, Siay, Talusan and Tungawan. The two other FMR implementation are in Zamboanga del Norte particularly in Baliguian and Tampilisan. Except Tampilisan, which is the first FMR proposed and being implemented by a province as entry point of PRDP, all the 11 subprojects (10 in Sibugay and in Baliguian) are programmed and approved as ‘MRDP excess demands’.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Sur secured NOL1 for four FMR subprojects worth P555.32 Million but still under procurement stage. Zamboanga Sibugay also has another P308.34 Million worth of FMR for Payao and Mabuhay subprojects, also under procurement process. Notably, the Mabuhay subproject has a bridge component.

As of July 31 status, the Bawang-Pamintayan FMR in Buug is at 96.41% completion covering 3.62 kilometers. Two subprojects in RT Lim are now above 85% completion -- the 3.5 kilometer stretch in San Antonio – Lugami (88.52% ) and the Casacon-Tilasan’s 3.64 kilometer FMR is at 86.10% complete. The other 9 FMRs are still at less than 50% physical accomplishment.

Roel Paloma of Radio One FM asked if the concreting of FMRs would really connect to the market. I-BUILD component head Juanito Taripe explained that since those 11 on-going FMR concreting were MRDP excess demand, they were originally designed for graveling and located in interior areas only.

But since they are now implemented under PRDP, the LGUs had to re-design and reprogram from graveling to concreting adhering to DPWH standards at 6 inches thick and 5 meters wide.

Taripe further explained that for subprojects proposed under PRDP, it must connect from provincial or national road towards the production areas, citing example of the first province-led FMR implementation of Zamboanga del Norte which connects six barangays of Tampilisan towards Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay.

In terms of quality standards, Taripe emphasized that PRDP won’t pay accomplished works without passing the material testing. Field tests must be conducted by DPWH or its accredited material testing laboratory. (Remai S. Alejado/da9)

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