January 31, 2023

Agriculture Sec. William Dar led the turnover of the 11.91-kilometer Jose Mencio farm-to-market road in Poblacion, Atok, Benguet on Oct. 29.

The P202-million worth project was turned over to the provincial government of Benguet, which will then oversee the management and maintenance of the FMR. 

Of the total project cost, P147.1 million was sourced out from the World Bank while the national government through DA and provincial government have provided P18.3M and P36.7M as counterparts, respectively. 

The project started in April 2017 and was completed last Aug. 14, with Jomarcann General Construction and Northern Builders as contractors.

Atok Liga ng mga Barangay president Danny Sucdad said the project is a great help for the people of the municipality as it lessens travel time.

“The improved road helps the people bring their produce to the different trading centers. It also helps in emergency cases as it lessens travel time going to hospitals. We will not forget the agencies that helped and even the residents who donated a part of their lot for the construction of the road,” Sucdad said.

The road also leads to Barangay Naguey, which has a great tourism potential.

Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Fidela Luis said some of the lot owners have signed waivers for the use of a portion of their lots prior to the improvement of the road while some donated a portion of their lots for the continuous use of the road.

The road will benefit 2,561 households mostly engaged in the production of coffee, heirloom rice, cabbage, carrots, chayote, white potato, and taro. The road connects barangays Caliking, Topdac, Poblacion, Abiang, Naguey, and Pasdong.

DA, through the Philippine Rural Development Project, has assisted Atok with P240,178,223.93 fund allocation as of this year. – Ofelia C. Empian