Ecotourism seen to boost due to P120 million PRDP road in Leon, Iloilo
“One of the primary needs in a community is a good road. Once it is established, development will surely spur in the area.” This was how Project Support Office – Visayas Cluster Deputy Project Director Engr. Jose Albert Barrogo emphasized the significance of a road during the turn-over ceremony of the rehabilitation and concreting of the Poblacion-Tacuyong Norte farm-to-market road in Leon, Iloilo.
For Gov. Art Defensor Sr., the rehabilitation project plays an important role in uplifting the quality of life of people living in the 22 barangays road influence area, mostly farmers.
“This is just the evidence and banner of my commitment to serve our people not for myself or my own interest but for the welfare and improvement of the quality of life of the people in the province of Iloilo,” said Governor Defensor.
The Municipality of Leon is gaining more and more recognition from local and foreign tourists because of its cool temperature, closely similar to that of Baguio in Benguet. The possibility of developing another site for eco-tourism is inevitable. With the presence of the road, the provincial and local government unit is hopeful that eco-tourism is extended to the road’s influence area.
For residents living in the area, the road is an answered prayer. For the longest time, the area was impassable by vehicles and government services seldom reach them due to the road condition.
“We used to carry our products through ‘tuwang-tuwang’ method and walk on slippery trails,” said Brgy. Captain Cirilo Cabangisan of Barangay Tacuyong Norte, Leon.
“Tuwang-tuwang” is a Hiligaynon term used for carrying the agricultural products using strong pole of bamboo with attached bundle or basket on both ends and is suspended on shoulders.
Cabangisan is all smiles as the officials of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) headed by Regional Project Coordination Office- 6 DPD Maruel O. Olanday; PSO Visayas Director Barrogo and Governor Defensor turned-over the completed P120M worth of farm to market road to the project beneficiaries.
Director Olanday assured beneficiaries that specifications of subprojects undertaken by the PRDP conforms to international standards. He also highlighted the practice of transparency under PRDP where geotagging and frequent monitoring is conducted.
He also urged local government units to craft an ordinance pertaining to road capacity and safety in order to protect its carrying capacity and for the road to live out its 15-20 expected lifespan.
“We should impose road taxes to overloading trucks which could lessen the duration of this structure,” said Olanday.
The 10.289 kilometer FMR has a RIA of 2,599 hectares and beneficiaries of 14,290 population living in 2,940 households. The primary products identified through the conduct of value chain analysis and incorporated in the provincial commodity investment plan are swine, native chicken, banana, mango and coconut.