March 3, 2024

The ongoing improvement of Kilometer 49-Ambakian farm-to-market road in Benguet notched up to 95.2 percent completion rate as of Aug. 11.

Implemented under the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project and the provincial government of Benguet, the 10.87-kilometer road project, with a total cost of P275 million, is now serving more than 6,352 individuals from Barangay Paoay, Atok and Barangay Batan, Kabayan.

It was proposed to support the production and transport of coffee, highland vegetables, and other agricultural products produced by farmers in these communities.

Gaspar Cato, a resident of Sitio Bajen, Barangay Batan said vehicles that deliver vegetables usually get stuck along the way, especially during the rainy season.

With the improved road, the motorists and residents can now enjoy seamless   travel to and from Batan.

“We now have a good road because it is concreted. We used to travel for two hours, or more if we get stuck on the way, but we can now reach Sayangan (along the Halsema Highway) in 45 minutes from Bajen,” Cato said.

The remaining works include the construction and repair of slope protection structures and clearing of landslides due to the recent earthquake incident.

The subproject is expected to be completed in September.

The PRDP aims to establish a modern, value chain-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.

It is implemented in partnership with local government units and the private sector, geared towards the provision of key infrastructure, facilities, technology, and information to raise incomes, productivity, and competitiveness in targeted areas.

It also aims to strengthen good governance, transparency, and accountability mechanisms at all stages of the project cycle. It also intends to operationalize a local-level convergence platform among relevant national line agencies and other stakeholders such as the private sector, civil society, and academe to synergize programs and projects. – Elvy T. Estacio