P103M road project to spur dev’t in Surigao Norte village

MAINIT, Surigao del Norte – Farmers like Antonio Libaya grew up carrying loads of abaca fiber to the town center from Bobonaon, a far-flung village located in the upland communities of this town.

“When I was young we sell abaca to the town center carrying the load and we would walk the muddy road. There is no other way,” he said.

When transport came, they pay P100, back and forth, using single-motor vehicles to transport their products, which usually takes an hour to get to the town center.

“Our products bear the brunt of the poor road conditions and we are forced to sell it at a lower price,” Bobonaon barangay captain Rogelio Esteves Jr. said.

He added that a good road ensures their farm products are in good quality. “Buyers would also be encouraged to come here instead,” he said.

But a farm-to-market road (FMR) project has begun construction here that could benefit not only abaca farmers but also those planting coconut and banana.

Under DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), the 9.4-kilometer rehabilitation and concreting of Magsaysay–Bobonaon–Sta. Cruz–Paco FMR amounting to P103 million.

“Farmers in the barangays are already excited for the start of the construction of the project since this has been the dream of the residents in the community,” said Mainit Mayor Crisanta Mondano.

Mondano said that farmers in the area have committed to planting more crops if there is already a road where they can easily transport the commodities.

“With the new road, we expect to enhance productivity, diversification of crops and thereby increasing farmers’ income as well,” she said.

“The municipality is ranked second among all municipalities in the province according to the expanded vulnerability and suitability assessment (E-VSA) result for coconut. Thus, this is one of PRDP’s intervention areas,” said Deputy Project Director Jodel Tabada.

Tabada added that PRDP sees the needs of the community and plans for interventions based on the results on its science-based tools. It works out to put in place climate resilient FMRs, bridges, communal irrigation and potable water systems.

“Farmers here are now more engaged with planting more crops, either of the same or new crops like cacao,” Esteves said.

He added that a concreted road would also ease the transport of residents in case of health-related emergencies and a safer travel for residents.

Barangay Secretary Florence Mae Alcantara recalled the time when she was pregnant and would go back and forth the town center for meetings.

“It was hard for my pregnancy and I was always worried it would affect my unborn child,” she said.

She also added that the improvement of the road would benefit community women groups who are starting livelihood projects like vegetable farming.

“When this road will be completed is that we will be connected to the town center. When there are developments in our town, we are always left behind. But now, our lives will be developed and our skills will be enhanced,” she said. PR

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