May 28, 2024

The improved 4.577-kilometer Banata-Sumey-ang-Sadsadan farm-to-market road (FMR) in Bauko, Mountain Province implemented under the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) was inaugurated and turned over to the provincial government on Nov. 16.

The road project covering Barangays Mabaay and Sadsadan has a total cost of P71.28 million, which is shared by the World Bank (loan proceeds), the DA, and the provincial government.

During the turnover program, Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. thanked the DA-PRDP, the provincial government technical staff, and barangay officials for overseeing the implementation and completion of the road improvement.

“Without your collective efforts and the cooperation of the community, this road project will not be successfully completed,” Lacwasan said.

DA-Cordillera OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey stressed the relevance of balancing the protection of watersheds in developing and expanding production areas for the sustainability of agriculture.

“While we will continue our efforts as your partners in agricultural development, we also expect you will continue sustaining and evolving good natural resources management practices,” Odsey said.

He also urged the residents to improve and expand their coffee production now that the road is improved.

In support to the local coffee industry in Bauko, the FMR subproject was originally proposed with a span of 8.483 kilometers. However, the length was shortened due to road-right-of-way issues. Construction works officially started in March 2017, but the subproject underwent several challenges until it was finally completed last Oct. 6.

Mabaay Punong barangay Melecio Paltiyan is thankful for the road improvement as the community now experiences smooth ride to and from their residences/farms.

“May we all live long so that we can continue to improve/resolve the challenges being experienced by our communities,” Paltiyan said.

To date, the improved road is now benefiting farmers and residents from various barangays of Bauko and Tadian as it also serves as an alternate route connecting several towns.

The improved road is also expected to develop the coffee industry in the municipality, facilitate the delivery of farm produce, and provide better access to farmers and residents. – Elvy T. Estacio