Completed PRDP-funded FMR in Masbate facilitates unhampered flow of goods and assistance amidst ECQ
PLACER, MASBATE – The completed 9.50-kilometer Aguada to Locso-an Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) worth P120.88-million, which was turned over to the municipality of Placer in October last year, now benefits its rural community especially since the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In a statement through electronic mail, Mayor Eusebio Dumoran, Jr. said that a portion of the FMR in Brgy. Mahayahay currently serves as a border security checkpoint.
He added that the PRDP-funded infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subproject also facilitates the farmers and consumers’ mobility in the area amid the crisis as the LGU only allows a market window time of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dumoran, in the same narrative, expressed his gratitude for having this climate-resilient infrastructure subproject saying: “As a recipient of a DA-PRDP subproject, the Municipality of Placer is very grateful… Because of this FMR, assistance from the municipal or national agencies, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, can easily be transported and the mobility of transporting farm produce by the farmers to the market becomes easy.”
He further cited that even the traders are now willing to collect agricultural produce from the farmlands, hence, reducing time and cost of hauling. These trends result in low cost of prime agricultural commodities such as vegetables and fruits being offered to the consumers particularly households living below the poverty line who were affected by the “no work-no income” scheme.
The Aguada to Locso-an FMR is the first completed and turned-over I-BUILD subproject in the Province of Masbate. It is estimated to benefit 5,846 individuals or 1,087 households by supporting the province’s agricultural development program to expand the production of coco shell activated charcoal.
It is also designed to strengthen farmers’ economic activities and raise their income by processing coco shell activated carbon as coconut by-product. Placer has the largest coconut area in Masbate with about 12,347 hectares of area planted with coconut, equivalent to 12.91 percent of the province’s total coconut area. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS)