Perez builds better road for farmers, residents thru PRDP
Perez, a fifth class agricultural municipality located in Alabat Island, Quezon, has now a better and safer road for its farmers and fisherfolk to transport their produce.
Through the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), the 5.12-kilometer “Concreting of Mainit Sur – Mainit Norte Farm-to-Market Road (FMR)” subproject covers 1,211 households in its 1,496 influence area.
Prior to the construction of the P57.78 million-worth FMR, the area is served by dirt roads and is barely passable due to mud especially during the rainy season. Residents also take a longer time to reach the poblacion area of Perez as they use the longer, but concreted, road from Pambuhan via Villa Manzano Norte.
With the new paved FMR, residents of the affected barangays now experience a reduced travel time from 45 minutes to 22 minutes and allow them to reach the port area of Perez and Alabat faster.
“Dahil hindi maganda ang kalsada noon, mas mahal pa ang pagbiyahe ng aming produkto sa bayan kaysa sa kikitain namin. Pero ngayon, ayos na (Before, due to unpaved roads, the transportation of our products to the market costs more than what we earn everyday. But now [through the concreted road], we are experiencing positive changes),” Cesar Calvaria, project beneficiary, said in an interview.
Furthermore, farmer-residents of the beneficiary barangays are primarily engaged in planting crops, mostly coconut, and livestock raising. The harvested coconuts will be transported to the coconut hub in the town of Agdangan.
The said coconut hub is a convergence project among Philippine Coconut Authority, Quezon provincial government, and Alabat municipal government to provide a one-stop shop for coconuts produced in the towns of Perez, Alabat, and Quezon particularly for production of cocosap sugar but also for other coconut-based products.
The local government unit also helps the farmers in the diversification of their produce by intercropping cacao with coconuts.
Fishing is also one of the main sources of livelihood and seaweed farming.
According to Engr. Nathaniel Catusalem, resident engineer of the Municipal Project Management Implementation Unit, 50 residents from the municipality were also provided the chance to work for the road construction for them to acquire extra earnings.
Meanwhile, this FMR subproject is part of the town’s circumferential road which is very helpful during the community quarantine being observed in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic. Social services are now being provided even in areas that were hard to reach before.
Aside from agricultural benefits, other sectors like tourism will also derive profit from the subproject. The road will allow tourists to easily reach beaches and various scenic spots in the municipality of Perez. ### (Lawrence Albert A. Bariring, DA-PRDP CALABARZON RPCO InfoACE Unit)
Faster and cheaper transportation are just a few of the benefits that will be derived from this newly concreted farm-to-market road.
Puddles of water can be seen in the road. This stretch of the road becomes part of the completed Mainit Sur – Mainit Norte Farm-to-Market Road.