ITOGON, Benguet – Some 500 farmers from the different villages in barangay Luacan are expected to benefit from the initial implementation of the rehabilitation and upgrading of a portion of a farm-to-market road (FMR) that will pave the way for the convenient transport of their agricultural produce to the market and nearest trading center outside the municipality.
Mayor Bernard S. Waclin said that the funds for the initial implementation of the construction and upgrading of the portion of Pitikan, Labilab, Luacan to its intersection with Camisong came from the initiative of Senator Raffy Tulfo.
However, he claimed that the completion of the whole project with an approximate length of more or less 12 kilometers from the end of the road to its intersection with the Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya road, particularly in the Camisong area, will need an additional PhP100 million to fully realize the objective of providing the needed access for the farmers to transport their produce to the nearest trading center without unnecessary delays or incurring significant damages during the course of the travel to guarantee better buying prices for their produce.
The local chief executive pointed out that the local government is aggressively coordinating with concerned government agencies to guarantee the implementation of more development projects in the municipality under their respective budgets to help in improving the current state of the local economy and provide additional sources of livelihood for the people, especially those who belong to the vulnerable and marginalized sectors.
According to him, the construction of more roads linking remote villages in the municipality will definitely contribute in spurring growth and development through increased economic activities of the people so that they will no longer move out of their places to look for sustainable sources of livelihood.
The FMR project being implemented is aside from other major road opening projects in various parts of the municipality that is being handled and monitored by the public works department to connect Itogon and the nearby town of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and even San Manuel, Pangasinan.
Among the works that will be done in the initial phase of the construction of the FMR include widening, concreting and putting up of slope protection walls to allow the farmers to conveniently transport their agricultural produce from their farms to the main road and eventually to the nearest trading center without undue delays.
The mayor is looking forward to making the appropriate representations with the new head of the agriculture department so that the agency will consider infusing additional funds to complete the farm to market road since it will be the town’s agriculture industry stakeholders that stand to benefit from its realization in the future. By Dexter A. See