BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. wants the agriculture department to work out the immediate correction of the uncovered defects in the implementation of multi-million worth of infrastructure projects funded under the World Bank-assisted Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) to avoid the waste of funds and ensure the projects serve the general welfare of the people in the remote villages of the province.
Lacwasan admitted that various issues regarding the implementation of the PRDP projects was brought to his attention by concerned contractors, local officials and the beneficiaries of the various farm-to-market road (FMR) projects wherein the absence of the appropriate slope protection walls has been pinpointed as one of the major defects of the foreign-funded projects.
“We want the officials of the agriculture department to look into the valid concerns raised by the people against the on-going implementation of various farm-to-market roads in the different parts of the province so that we will be able to guarantee the utilization of the roads for the benefit of agriculture stakeholders living in the countyside,” Lacwasan stressed.
Earlier, concerned local officials from Besao, Tadian, Bauko and Paracelis who witnessed the current construction of FMRs claimed that contractors do not put the appropriate slope protection walls on the mountain slopes after the widening projects making the widened areas prone to landslides during heavy rains that will lead to frequent road closures.
The concerned officials and residents claimed the concreting of the roads will be useless if the corresponding slope protection walls and drainage systems will not be put in place considering the peculiar terrain of the region.
Lacwasan claimed while the DA initially allowed variations in the contracts of the project implementers to up to 10 percent, the said variation is not sufficient to address the concern raised by the beneficiaries on the absence of sturdy slope protection walls that will surely impede the smooth delivery of agricultural crops from the farms to the markets, contrary to the purpose of the PRDP projects which is to provide access of the farmers to the markets through the paved roads.
According to him, the concerned agency needs to address the issues at the earliest possible time so that no one will be blamed for whatever defects of the project will result to in the future as these issues are being raised now at the early stages of the implementation of the multi-million projects.
The governor pointed out that the beneficiaries know what is best for them that is why they called the attention of concerned officials to help call the attention of implementing agencies to take a second look at the programs of work of their projects so that remedial measures can immediately instituted before the contractors proceed on their works.
He said he supports the clamor of concerned local officials and residents for DA to look into the uncovered defects of some PRDP projects in several towns and he wants the DA to correct these defects to make the projects useful in advancing the agriculture industry in the countryside. By HENT