by Larry T. Lopez / PIA
PINUKPUK, Kalinga – The construction of a farm-to-market (FMR) road project funded under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in this town is expected to proceed smoothly after officials of the six barangays traversed by said project signed a waiver on road-right of way claims.
Gov. Jocel C. Baac, who led the groundbreaking of the P197.6M road improvement project, said all the punong barangays of Catabbogan, Wagud, Malagnat, Ammacian, Taggay, and Sakpil have signed the waiver of claim.
The “no claim” policy on road-right-of-way is one of the conditions imposed by the World Bank, Baac said.
Baac recalled how the project proposal on the 13.2-km FMR had a rough sailing for almost two years before it was finally approved.
He said no contractor was interested to bid because of difficulty in meeting PRDP project standards until he was able to persuade the Omengan Construction and Development Corporation to implement the project.
Because of this predicament, he called on officials and people of the host barangays to support the project by not making any claim on portions of their properties affected.
Targeted to be completed after a 510-day work schedule, the project will provide market access to the upland barangays which are top producers of coffee, banana, corn, and coconut.
Department of Agriculture Regional Director Lorenzo Caranguian handed recently the “no objection letter-2” to the province, which was a signal for the project to start.
Kalinga is the second highest recipient of the PRDP in the country and top in the Cordillera with about P500M-worth of ongoing FMR projects.
The PRDP is a six-year project designed to establish the government platform for a modern, climate-smart and market-oriented agri-fishery sector.
Externally, it will focus on expanding market access and improving competitiveness. Internally, it will introduce reforms in the DA.
According to the DA, the PRDP aims to have at least a five percent increase in annual real household income of farmer/fisherfolk beneficiaries, 30 percent increase in income of targeted beneficiaries of enterprise development, seven percent increase in value of annual marketed output, and 20 percent increase in number of farmers and fisherfolk with improved access to DA services.