Transforming lives, making better future
Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental–One of the farmers, Democrito Calibo, recalled the difficulty of their lives in Barangay Mapurog where pothole-filled and muddy roads can only be traversed on foot or by horses.
“We have to endure the one-day travel time just to reach the nearest market in Bonifacio town, with transportation costing around P20.00-P30.00 per basket on horses. Sometimes, the bumpy road would cause some of our products to fall off the horse which resulted in damages and depreciated the market value of our crop,” said Calibo.
The poor road condition was the main reason why transportation was very expensive then. Aside from the regular fare, they had to pay for the labor cost in hauling their products to the nearest road accessible by horses or carabaos.
“With the new concrete road, we no longer have to worry about transporting our goods to the market. Vehicles can now reach our areas where transportation cost is much lesser and our travel time shorter. Buyers also come to our barangay to purchase our farm products because we already have a well-paved road,” added Calibo.
Barangay Mapurog is also home to the Subanen Tribe. This IP community suffered from the effect of the poor road condition where social services had been inaccessible.
“Before, most of us IPs do not have a good education because the school was very far and we had to walk several hours just to get to the nearest school. During health emergencies, some of our brothers would not make it to the hospital and even pregnant women sometimes gave birth along the way,” said Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMR) Charlie Torres.
Through this new farm-to-market road, they believed that this project will change their lives.
“With a better road now, many of our children are able to go to school. The cost of travelling from the town to Sitio Migsale and vice-versa has decreased from P60.00-100.00 to P50.00. We can now traverse safely and during emergencies ambulances would be able to respond quickly. Government support like the 4Ps program can now reach us, which encouraged parents to send their students to school,” added Torres.
Aside from the Department of Agriculture, other agencies like the Department of Tourism has been assisting the communities of Barangay Mapurog through religious tourism in the area and one of the challenges they encountered is bringing the technology to the community.
“As a field worker, it was very hard for us to reach Sitio Migsale in Brgy. Mapurog and it was also difficult to bring the technologies we want to impart to their community because of the terrible road conditions. But now, it’s easier and convenient for us to deliver the information about government programs as well as monitoring the development in the community. For the DOT, we will be giving them livelihood programs like handicraft trainings soon,” said Tourism Officer Landy Anthony Hisola.
“We are also promoting the Bukid sa Pag-ampo as religious tourism which is part of preserving their culture. With the aid of NGO and private individuals through Fr. Jinny Villamor, our parish priest, we founded the Bless Tribal School,” he added.
According to Brgy. Captain Felix Tagalog, increase in economic activities has been observed in the area. Many residents are inspired to expand their farms since transportation of their agricultural products will be easier, and others opened up sari-sari stores.
“The number of vehicles that reach Brgy. Mapurog is increasing and many of our farmers are planning to buy their own vehicles like motorcycles for personal use. Before, we only had two elementary schools, but this coming June we will have a high school that offers K12. The price value of our land here also increased because of the concrete road,” said Tagalog.
As of now, the construction of the road is still on going and it is targeted to be completed by 2018. LGU officials and residents in Brgy. Mapurog are looking forward to the completion of the project where they expected more improvement in their livelihood as well.
“It is part of our goal to sustain this project by allocating funds for the maintenance of the barangay road. As part of the residents’ counterpart we will have a bayanihan system,” continued Tagalog.
Through the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project, the 4.96 km farm-to-market road worth P67 million is already in 92.78% accomplishment and will be completed soon.
A total of 326 households and 1,490 beneficiaries of Brgy. Mapurog are now starting to feel the impact of the project.
PRDP together with partner LGUs and private sectors are working hand in hand in providing infrastructure and facilities to raise the income, productivity, and competitiveness in the countryside.
The farm-to-market road is under the PRDP’s Intensified Building up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development of I-BUILD component. (Joy M. Montecalvo, PSO Mindanao/ InfoACe Unit)