December 4, 2022

The ongoing construction of an 11.85-kilometer Sta. Maria-Mallig-Upper Atok farm-to-market road (FMR) in Flora, Apayao is seen to boost economic livelihood and help resolve insurgency in the area once completed.

The P195-million project is under the World Bank-supported Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) with a 10 percent counterpart fund from the provincial government of Apayao.

The road is expected to benefit at least three farming villages of Flora, namely barangays Santa Maria, Mallig, and Upper Atok.

Last April 30, a composite team from the provincial government led by Gov. Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang inspected the project, which is expected to be completed next year.

In a consultation meeting with village officials, Begtang urged residents to help the government in ensuring peace and order in their respective barangays, especially in the light of reported activities of communist terrorists.

Clashes between Philippine Army troopers and the communist rebels last March occurred in two interior barangays of Flora.

“Peace and order is the driving force that will allow us to overcome challenges and will open more doors to progress in the province,” the governor said during the meeting.

She expressed optimism that the FMR will not only attract better market opportunities to benefit banana growers in the area but will also open up investment and livelihood opportunities while improving the delivery of government services closer to people.

Amid an ongoing pandemic, Apayao continues to implement its various infrastructure development projects such as the FMR improvement project in Flora.

Other sub-projects in support of the program are the establishment of a warehouse in Sta. Marcela, Luna, Flora, Calanasan, and Pudtol; a coffee processing center in Calanasan; and a multipurpose banana trading center in Barangay Poblacion, Flora, which will soon consolidate banana produce in the said municipality.

“We are thankful for this project as this would facilitate the easier transport of farmers’ produce to the market,” said Flora Vice mayor Jessica de San Jose.

She said Flora will support the provincial government’s efforts to alleviate poverty. PNA