Date Published: February 24, 2021

The P191-million Cold Storage Project of the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) thru the I-BUILD Component was completed 45 days ahead of target completion.

The cold storage is built on a 2,422-square meter lot donated by the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magsisibuyas ng Nueva Ecija (KASAMNE) to the City Government of Palayan which started in July of 2019 and finished in December of 2020.

With this, the I-BUILD Component of the Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO 3) was recently commended for its exemplary achievement which underlined the action plans dealt to mitigate project delays despite the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was learned that travel restrictions, social distancing and quarantines resulted in delays and increased costs for the contractor.

In order to keep the workforce safe, the Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) Unit implemented health and safety guidelines issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways on essential construction which was helpful in determining on-site activities to go forward.

In a statement with I-BUILD Rural Infrastructure Engineer Bon Alexis Guatato, regardless of the unprecedented delays, disruptions and uncertainty on the recommencement of on-site activities, the RPCO 3 together with the city government and the contractor, ARN Builders were determined in   completing the subproject despite the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to infrastructure projects. We continued in accelerating projects to bounce back from the crisis,” Engr. Guatato added.

It is in the decisiveness of the I-BUILD that this project gained headway following catch-up plans in order to recover lost time during temporary suspension of construction activities due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Luzon on March 2020 while the contractor ramped up the construction in order to finish the cold storage facility way ahead of time.

Once operational, the facility can store an initial capacity of 120,000 bags to prolong the shelf life of onions up to seven months and prevent crops from rotting early and restrain insects from infesting goods.

Flagship infrastructure under the I-BUILD Component of the DA-PRDP consists of establishment and maintenance of roads, bridges, warehouses and waterways which are considered priorities in providing long-term stability for the agricultural sector. (MA. REINA LEN G. LUNA, RPCO3 InfoACE)

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