Hardwork has paid off. It is all worth it, worth the pain.

Department of Agriculture Assistant Regional Director Maria Melba B. Wee congratulated the leadership of R.T. Lim municipality during the turnover and acceptance ceremonies of the fully concreted 3.64 kilometer farm-to-market road serving 352 households in barangays Casacon and Tilasan.

The P38 Million FMR was officially turned over recently by DA9 to the Municipality of R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay. Wee, in behalf of Regional Director Constancio G. Alama lauded Mayor Michael Piodena’s unrelenting support and partnership with the DA in providing numerous programs and projects for his constituents.

Citing the rigors of the project preparation processes and stringent requirements in availing the World Bank funded Philippine Rural Development Project, ARD Wee said it is worth the pain. We are able to serve the people in this part of the country.

Wee, the newly designated ARD has been DA9’s Regional Information Officer and has witnessed all the efforts the MLGU R.T. Lim were doing to avail of government programs and projects like of PRDP.

“Project like roads, opens so much opportunities not only to targeted areas but to the whole municipality as well. Very soon, businesses will mushroom here, she said.

Mayor Piodena, for his part said, “with the good road, rubber traders have no more reason buying rubber (cup lumps) at very low price. Therefore farmers’ income will eventually increase.”

He encouraged Barangay chairmen Ernesto Geriane, Jr. (Casacon) and Adela Hersamio (Tilasan) to take the lead in maintaining the road in good condition. He reminded them to regularly clean the road stretch, keep the culverts free from clogs to prevent overflow of flood waters that could cause erosion and cracks on the pavement.

The Casacon-Tilasan FMR was eyed to improve transport access of farm inputs and farm produce. It will reduce transport cost by 50 percent from P60.00 to P30.00 likewise cut half of the hauling cost from P60.00 to P30.00.

Even before its completion, rubber farmers like Darcon Ricopuerto of Tilasan and Casacon Barangay Kagawad Jimmy Virtudazo were grateful of the Department of Agriculture’s rural development project because they no longer spend so much hauling and transporting their products because rubber traders would come to their barangays every 5th and 21st of the month.

Ricopuerto attested that before, they had to spend a day rafting their produce passing Tupilak river to reach the market in Surabay, the trade center of R. T. Lim. Now, they can reach town in less than an hour. Virtudazo, on the other hand, dreaded those days walking through a knee-high muddy trail before they could reach the town proper. With cemented road, we have all access of motorcycles to reach their destination, he said.

72-year old Erlinda Banogbanog, president of Senior Citizens Association in Tilasan has said that before their feet get swollen hiking to and from the town proper but today we can swiftly do it. “For our produce, now we have lesser expense because there are motor vehicles available.”
The Casacon-Tilasan FMR is among the three FMR concreting subprojects availed by R.T. Lim under PRDP. The other two are in Barangay San Antonio to Sitio Lugami at 3.14 kilometers and in Barangay Santo Rosario to Sitio Pinili at 3.5 kilometers. All in all, R.T. Lim municipality get over P109 Million worth of PRDP subprojects.

PRDP is a six-year program (Dec. 2014-Dec. 2021) designed to establish the government platform for a modern, climate-smart and market-oriented agri-fishery sector. # (Remai Alejado DA9)
PICTURE CAPTION: DA Asst Director Maria Melba Wee and Municipal Mayor Michael Piodena lead in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly opened FMR in R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay.

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