More opportunities are now open and dramatically improves the economic activities of over 400 households directly benefiting from the completed concreting of farm-to-market road (FMR) in Buug municipality.
Even before its completion last September 22 and official turnover to MLGU of Buug, on September 30, some 2,406 residents of Barangays Bawang and Pamintayan were already enjoying the advantages of having a concretely paved road.
“Nowadays, we are happy because we no longer spend even five centavos since copra buyers would come over to our place,” 82 years old Alim Ampuan declares as he recalls their living condition in Barangay Pamintayan before was so difficult. “Apart from me who is already in twilight years, my children and grandchildren are so happy of the good road we have now…. Till death, I won’t forget the government’s assistance to us,” Ustadz Ampuan states sentimentally.
The old Ampuan also recalls that before they fetch water from afar. But as soon as the PRDP road started they were able to solicit pipes to bring water supply from Balogoan to flow at their doorsteps.
He also shares that they were able to construct mosques quickly since construction materials were delivered by the supplier at the construction site. Today, more houses start to rise along the Bawang-Pamintayan road.
The 3.62 kilometer concreting of Pamintayan-Bawang FMR is the first MRDP excess demand funded and implemented by the Department of Agriculture through its Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Zamboanga Peninsula, jointly financed by the World Bank, Philippine Government and Buug MLGU. Its total project cost is P47 million at 80-10-10 counterparting scheme where 80 percent from World Bank and both GOP and MLGU provided 10 percent each.
This FMR rehab and concreting generally aims to increase agricultural and fishery productivity thereby improving the quality of life of the intended beneficiaries. But more specifically, it is purposely done, first, to reduce 70 percent of travel time from the farm to trading centers. Second, reduce cost of hauling per sack from farm to market at 50 percent. Third, to reduce spoilage of farmer’s produce and fourth, to increase traffic count along road network within the road influence area by at least 50 percent.
Bawang Punong Barangay Edmundo Hernando recollects as a public servant, saying: “development before was so remote until the Pamintayan-Bawang road project of PRDP commenced. It changed a lot since this road links the two barangays. In the past, coconut farmers had to hire horses to haul their copra down to the crossing and spend another transport cost from crossing to Poblacion using habal-habal (taxi bike).”
“I witness how happy the people have become because first of all, they no longer walk 2-3 kilometers. At present, almost all residents here have their own motorcycles. It is easy for them to go to Poblacion to deliver their products and back home as fast as they can,” Mayor Jonam Lagas says.
A mother, Lorena Ampuan, is just one among the mothers who expressed delight, saying: “our road is not only wide but also cemented, gone were the days that our children go to school dirty especially during rainy days. We too, mothers, find no more difficulty in going to town and vice versa because motorcycles can fetch us from our homes.”
Truly, the wide and fully concreted FMR has opened more opportunities not only to farmers but to fisherfolk as well. Along with the turnover of PRDP FMR, a mini ice plant in Barangay Pamintayan was also inaugurated and turned over to MLGU Buug to operate.
DA9 Regional Director Constancio G. Alama officially turned over the P47 Million worth of PRDP FMR as well as the iceplant along with BFAR representative Ronnie Omandam.
With these two infrastructure projects, Director Alama pointed out its great impact in terms of increasing the gross domestic product and ultimately reduce poverty to and among those directly benefiting from it and spill over to adjacent coastal municipalities like Malangas (ZSibugay) and Margosatubig in Zamboanga del Sur.
Of the P1.52 Billion Infrastructure Development portfolio of Region 9 under PRDP, the Bawang-Pamintayan road concreting was the first subproject turned over to recipient MLGU this year.
Deputy Project Director Araceli Morano from Project Support Office Mindanao Cluster based in Davao came over to attend the occasion. Morano highlighted, in her message, that since it is already accepted by the MLGU, it is now Buug’s responsibility to maintain the road so that the next generations can still benefit from it.
After Buug, two segments in RT Lim municipality are also near completion - the Casacon-Tilasan FMR and San Antonio – Sitio Lugami. #