TANUDAN, KALINGA – The P130 million Banneng-Gombowoy farm-to-market road (FMR) under the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) benefits around 673 households with over 4,000 population in the towns of Lay-asan and Pangol.
The 13-kilometer FMR is geared towards the development of the coffee industry in Tanudan.
“We need to develop this. It is a challenge to all of us and I hope that the DA Department of Agriculture through Director Edilio and even the PRDP will assist us in improving our coffee production,” said Governor Jocel Baac during the turnover ceremony at Barangay Lay-asan on Monday.
Baac lauded provincial government officials, employees, and engineers whom he said tirelessly and steadfastly pursued the successful implementation of the FMR. He also thanked Tanudan officials for allowing the provincial government to acquire road right of way without payment. “Yun yung malaking bagay na nagawa ninyo, [you have set] a good example to our fellow Kalingas,” he said.
Vice Governor James Edduba urged farmers to be more productive and to maximize the use of the FMR. He said he expects to see an improvement in the lives of the beneficiaries in the next five years. “Five years from now, makita kuma nga adu ti ipan yu idyay Tabuk City nga produkto yu tapnu han nga masayang ti bannug ti papangat tayo nga nangitrabaho ditoy,” he said.
The Banneng-Gombowoy FMR shortens travel time to Bulanao market in Tabuk City from half a day to less than an hour, according to Vice Mayor David Calsiyao. He recounted his experience as a child travelling on foot to attend school and transport rice to Tabuk. “Nabayag nga panawen nga kasdyay ti biyag mi ditoy ket kalpasen ti adu nga tawen, agyaman kami ta binendisyonan ni apu Dios daytuy ili babaen ti tulong yu nga papangat, adda daytuy kalsada mi,” he said.
Indeed, for the residents of Tanudan, most of which have been travelling on unpaved roads for as long as they can remember, the Banneng-Gombowoy FMR is nothing short of a dream come true.
“Naalala ko last time noong in-orient natin ‘yung mga farmers para sa gaganaping World Bank mission, meron pong nag-comment na kagawad, ang sabi daw po nung isang matandang ka-barangay, pag daw po siya ay namatay, hahanapin niya lahat ng kakilala nya sa langit at sasabihin niya ‘daig ko kayo dahil nakita ko yung kalsada na ginagawa na, kayo hindi niyo naabutan iyon’”, related PRDP Luzon Cluster Deputy Director Elma Mananes.
Mananes lauded Kalinga for being ahead in the implementation of PRDP road projects. “Out of P1.6 billion ng Cordillera, P500 million ang nakuha ng Kalinga. Isa po itong Banneng-Gombowoy ang tiningnan nating pinakamaganda at pinakamaayos na implementation ng project,” she said.
She credited the success of the FMR to the strong leadership of the provincial government. “Kung wala pong suporta, kung hindi po pupukpukin ng ating mahal na governor yung mga tao nya para i-comply lahat ng requirements, wala pong mangyayari sa proposal,” she said.
Mananes only has one challenge to the beneficiaries: “Within five years may makikitang development sa barangay natin. Yun naman po ang minimithi ng PRDP, ang maghatid ng kaunlaran sa mga coffee growers sa barangay. Sana po maisakatuparan natin yon at mapakita natin na ito pong project natin ay nagdala ng development dito sa mga barangay na nasasakupan ng probinsya.”
By Iryll Sicnao