World Bank: Sariaya’s farm-to-market road is a remarkable project
“I’m impressed! Not just on the presentation, but also in the actual construction management and safety arrangement.”
This is the positive remark of the World Bank (WB) Senior Procurement Specialist, Dominic Aumentado, for the Rehabilitation and Concreting of Concepcion Palasan to Manggalang Kiling Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) with Line Canal in Sariaya, Quezon during the first digital WB Implementation Support Mission.
To allow the WB team experience an ‘actual’ site visit and take a holistic look to the featured subproject amidst the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) prepared a 30-minute audiovisual presentation (AVP) which includes subproject profile, site virtual tour, and interviews with project beneficiaries and affected persons and local government unit.
On the AVP, the 13.81-kilometer FMR, that costs P187.4 million, was presented. The road serves 8,862 households across the 2,988 hectare road influence area and traverses four barangays (Concepcion Palasan, Manggalang Tulo-Tulo, Manggalang I, and Manggalang Kilig) in Sariaya. It also links the Maharlika Highway to the Quezon Ecotourism Road.
“This FMR is what the residents of Sariaya need, particularly the farmers. Before, only pushcarts, carabao sleds, and horses could enter the [unpaved] areas; but now, all types of land vehicle can reach these [concreted] places,” Mayor Marcelo Gayeta of Sariaya, Quezon expressed in an interview.
For those landowners affected by the FMR’s required right-of-way, the feeling of camaraderie and aspiration for a better and developed town pushed them to donate some area of their lands for the construction of the road.
“In 2017, residents from this [Taquico] barangay were called for a consultation to inform us that the road will be finally concreted and rehabilitated. At first, we were hesitant as some parts of our front yard will be affected. However, when we realized that through the paved road, various businesses in our area will prosper and more vehicles can easily ply the road thus, we agreed,” Rosario Llamado, one of the project affected persons, stated.
Some residents from the four barangays were also provided the chance to work for the road construction for them to acquire extra earnings.
During the height of enhanced community quarantine in Quezon province, all public and private works were temporarily halted. When it transitioned to general community quarantine, construction works were finally allowed but following a strict set of public health measures.
“When the construction works of the road were temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, our manager made sure that we have something to eat everyday by giving us relief goods. [Now we are back to continue performing our job] we first wash our hands and wear personal protective equipment. We also observe social distancing and other precautionary measures. Before we enter our respective homes, we disinfect our clothes first and other things we used that day as well as clean and wash our body,“ Perforio Panos, resident from Brgy. Manggalang 1 and LA Clamor Enterprise leadman, said.
Moreover, Loreto Basit, a dairy farmer from Concepcion Palasan, already sees the benefits of the new road even while it is being constructed.
“The ongoing construction of the project does not hamper the operation of our business. Even with the current state of the road, we were able to traverse through it and continue delivering milk to the collection area twice a day,” Basit said.
After the presentation, Aumentado requested the South Luzon cluster to list the good practices for the subproject beyond the Department of Public Works and Highways Department Order No. 39.
Other assessments and recommendations from the World Bank team were noted and forwarded to the concerned personnel for necessary actions. ### (Lawrence Albert Bariring, DA-PRDP CALABARZON RPCO InfoACE Unit and Lea P. Caliuag, DA-PRDP South Luzon PSO InfoACE Unit)