The compliance of the pre-conditioned resettlement of project affected persons (PAPs) in Biswangan, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur was recently checked and validated by the Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)..
SES and M&E are two I-SUPPORT units of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) that ensure conformity and observance of the project’s policy and procedure during the preparation and implementation of the project.

During the inspection, Environmental Safeguard Specialist Meneo B. Folgo, recommended to Lakewood Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Albert Cuajotor and Biswangang Punong Barangay Virgilio Barbon, Sr. to fast track the transfer of houses to the relocation site because the Geomapping and Governance Unit (GGU) has to re-geotag the area since geotagged photos of the proposed subproject must be posted over the official website of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement Systems (PhilGEPS) for interested bidders to have a virtual visit of its elevation profile and distance.
It may be known that the proposed rehabilitation/concreting of 7.94 kilometer farm-to-market road in Gasa-Biswangan (Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur ) was issued NOL1 last year. Although NOL1 signaled the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) to start the procurement process, PRDP has required the PPMIU together with the Municipal Local Government of Lakewood to implement the Land Acquisition and Resettlement Plan (LARP) for PAPs.
It was gathered that Punong Barangay Barbon, personally procured some 7,400 square meters land and donated as the resettlement site for at least 31 families who would be relocated prior to start FMR rehabilitation and concreting. According to Punong Barangay Barbon, the preparation of the relocation site commenced October 2016 where the BLGU provided fuel and lubricants for the heavy equipment from the MLGU.
Throughout the 7.94 km road, Timuay Nacito Liganan claimed to have 81 Subanen families to be directly affected by the project from Barangay Gasa down to Biswangan. Nevertheless, a total of 1,233 households will be benefiting from this project from four barangays of neighboring municipalities like Tigbao and Bayog.
If implemented, this PRDP concreted road shall ease up transport of farm products such as coconut, cassava, rubber, banana, coffee, rice, corn and root crops.
DA-PRDP is a commodity-based rural development project. Last year, Zamboanga del Sur updated its Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) now with eight identified priority commodities to be developed such as: cassava, rubber, seaweeds, banana (cardava), coconut (fiber), mango and abaca.
Folgo, SES Specialist led the 5-men team to have an ocular inspection of the relocation site to ensure that the welfare and safeguards of the affected community will be addressed. He is joined by Social Safeguard Officer Rammel Lasagas, Monitoring and Inspection Officer Grace Cadungog, and Project Development Associate Arden Arriola (M&E). # (Remai S. Alejado/da9)

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