Construction of P192.7 million FMR project in San Miguel Island set to start
TABACO CITY, ALBAY – The long wait is over for the local officials and residents of Brgy. Hacienda, San Miguel Island as they witnessed the groundbreaking of the Rehabilitation/Improvement of the 8.3-kilometer Hacienda to Rawis Farm-to-Market road (FMR) on July 9, 2019.
The P192.74 million-worth infrastructure development subproject under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) will enhance the existing single lane road in the three adjoining barangays, Brgys. Hacienda, Angas, and Vista.
The FMR aims to support the sweet potato industry in the city. The San Miguel Island is the second biggest producer of sweet potato in Albay province with 260 hectares planted with the crop.
Tabaco City Mayor Cielo Krisel Lagman-Luistro thanked the Department of Agriculture (DA) and PRDP for their continued support even after some snags and setbacks arise in the packaging of their proposal that took almost two years to be refined and approved. She also acknowledged the over 60 Project Affected Persons for devoting their land and properties to give way to the project.
“Bako lang tinampo ang mahahaman digdi. Pag napakarhay na ang tinampo pwede na kita maglaag ki lying facility o kaya Rural Health Center asin iba pang facilidad (It is not only a road that we will be constructing here. Once the road is rehabilitated, we can also build a lying-in facility or even a Rural Health Center and other facilities),” Luistro added.
The DA-Bicol OIC-Regional Executive Director, Rodel Tornilla, recognized the vital role of the City Government proponent team who prepared the proposal and the City Council who approved the budget allocation as the LGU’s fund counterpart to the project.
Tornilla also stressed the importance of a road network. “Kapag may tinampo and lugar, diyan nagpupuon ang trabaho, negosyo asin asenso (The construction of road opens up job opportunities, business, and progress),” he said.
Meanwhile, PRDP South Luzon Deputy Project Director Shandy M. Hubilla recalled the tedious process that the project proposal went through before it was finally approved. He likened it to the long courtship and engagement that a couple has to go through prior to marriage. He congratulated Mayor Luistro and her team for their perseverance and tenacity despite some problems along the way.
Hubilla reminded the LGU, project beneficiaries, and stakeholders that the project does not end with the completion of the FMR but should lead to more opportunities for enterprise development.
He also urged the community to be vigilant in monitoring the project implementation and ensuring that the standards and quality have been strictly complied with. He cited the Citizens Monitoring Tool which they can use for this purpose.
Tabaco City Vice Mayor Nestor San Pablo asked the DA to help them in their Food Production Program. He pointed out that the continuous planting of sweet potato in the island over the past years has resulted in a decline in production and smaller-sized potatoes, thus the need for soil analysis.
One of the would-be beneficiaries of the project, Adelina Balingbing of Brgy. Hacienda, has high hopes on the project.
“Dakulaon po ang maitatabang samo kaining pagpakarhay kan tinampo. Segurado ako mas dakul ang oportunidad na maitatao kaini sa bilog na isla. Makakatabang ini para mas mapadali an samong pagdara kan mga produkto mi sa mainland Tabaco. Mas dakul kikitaon mi pagtinda. Sa ngunyan ang presyo kan sarong lata ning kamote nagkakantidad ning P200. Pano pa daw kung mas dakula na ang agihan, mas dakulang sasakyan ang puwede magtransport kan samuyang produkto, mas dakul na kaming maiuuli sa samong pamilya (The rehabilitation of our road will be a great help. I’m sure this will bring about great opportunities for the entire island. This will facilitate the faster transport of our products to mainland Tabaco. At present, the price of a canful of sweet potato costs P200. How much more if our roads are wider – bigger vehicles will be transporting our products. We will be earning more income for our family). ### (Emily B. Bordado, DA-RAFIS V)