17 DA PRDP-funded infra subprojects to benefit 121,014 population in Masbate underway
Rolando C. Jepiga of Brgy. San Isidro Uson, Masbate, used to work as a rice and corn farmer. However, with the rising cost of production inputs like seeds and fertilizers plus the high-priced hauling and fare rates that reach up to P500, Jepiga decided to temporarily give up farming in favor of working as a laborer as an alternative source of income.
“Five years na akong tumigil sa pagsasaka dahil mahirap ang daanan. Kapag okay na ang daanan, babalik na ako sa pag-araro (I temporarily gave up farming due to problems with transportation. But after this is concreted, I will resume cultivating my farm),” he said.
With the ongoing implementation of the 10.26-kilometer Concreting of Del Carmen to San Ramon FMR With Bridge, Jepiga may return to his original occupation in less than a year. He is among the 121,014 beneficiaries of the 17 ongoing infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subprojects in the Province of Masbate, funded under the Department of Agriculture Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) second additional financing.
DA-PRDP Project Director Milo D. Delos Reyes and the technical team from PSO South Luzon and Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) Bicol, headed by Deputy Project Director Adelina A. Losa led the series of site inspections to ensure the quality of the DA PRDP-funded subprojects’ implementation in the province from July 18-20, 2023.
These include the 11.16-kilometer Concreting of Dao to Bungcanaway Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) With Bridge in Balud; the 8.10-kilometer Concreting of San Carlos to Magsalangui FMR in Milagros; and the 9.06-kilometer Concreting of San Antonio to San Carlos FMR with Bridge in Uson and Milagros.
During the Exit Conference, Dir. Delos Reyes lauded the DA PRDP team and its partners from the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) and contractors’ initial works on-site.
“Nakita namin ‘yung quality ng trabaho. My impression is kumbaga, kung iri-rate ko ‘yung trabaho ng mga kontratista dito ng 1-10, siguro 11, kasi unang-una nagsakripisyo kayo. Hindi ninyo inalintana ‘yung peace and order problem and I know na matatapos ninyo on time itong mga projects na naka-assign sainyo (We have observed the quality of your work. My impression is that, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give your contractors’ work an 11 because, first of all, you made a sacrifice. The issue with maintaining peace and order didn’t bother you. And I am certain that you will complete the subprojects you have been given on schedule),” he said.
The DA-PRDP team also evaluated the implementation of the 14.14-kilometer Concreting of Del Carmen to Malatawan Farm to Market Road in Uson, Masbate, the 15.79-kilometer Concreting of Segment (A) Palobandera to Dalipe and Segment (B) Calumpang to Iraya Farm-to-Market Road in Cawayan, Masbate; and the 10.26-kilometer Concreting of Del Carmen to San Ramon FMR With Bridge in Uson. The subprojects mentioned above are all in different phases of physical progress.
Nestor A. Refil, a farmer from Sitio Tambubo in Brgy. San Andres Balud related the emerging benefits of the ongoing construction of the Concreting of Dao to Bungcanaway Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) With Bridge.
“Dati inaabot ng kalahating oras mula Sitio Tambubo papuntang Brgy. Dao, ngayon mga 15 minutes na lang. Dati panaginip lang ito noon, pangarap. Ngayon, andito na, natupad na. Maraming salamat sa PRDP sa ginawa nila sa mga taga-dito (It used to take half an hour from Sitio Tambubo to Brgy. Dao. Now, the travel time will only take about 15 minutes. It used to be just a dream; now, it’s already here. It’s finally fulfilled. Thank you, PRDP, for bringing change to our community. ),” he said.
As of July 25, 2023, Masbate has 17 ongoing I-BUILD SPs spanning 175.81 kilometers, including 123 linear meters of bridges worth P3.68 billion. These SPs are funded under the DA PRDP’s second additional financing. Six of these are set for completion this year while the rest are targeted for accomplishment in 2024. ### (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V/PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)