Zamboanga del Norte kicks off construction of Farm-to-Market road
In a bid to make produce transportation more efficient, the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project’s (DA-PRDP) biggest infrastructure development has already commenced.
Zamboanga del Norte’s Farm-to-Market road (FMR) is a P462 million project that will connect municipalities of Kalawit and Labason.
The Kalawit-Labason FMR is the biggest infrastructure subproject of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in terms of cost. It is also the longest in terms of length overtaking the 28 KM in Region V, according to the National Project Coordination Office’s Alternate I-BUILD Head Ericson Mammag during the pre-construction conference on August 13.
The 32.27 KM road traverses seven barangays, namely: Gatas, Batayan, Daniel Maing and Poblacion (Kalawit), Gabu, Lawigan and Osukan (Labason). Barangay captains of these barangays attended the pre-construction conference who represented the 3,661 total household beneficiaries. Also present were the members of the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) of Zamboanga del Norte particularly the I-BUILD component headed by Engr. Fe Batilona.
DA-PRDP infrastructure subproject is being funded by World Bank, Government of the Philippines and the proponent Provincial Government Unit at 80-10-10 percent counter-parting scheme, respectively.
The whole 32.27 KM is divided into two segments – segment 1 is in Kalawit covering 9.87 km only with contract cost of P146 million under Rudhil Construction and Enterprises while segment 2 is in Labason at 22.40 km stretch amounting to P316 million to be undertaken by Edanna Construction in a joint venture with WTG Construction & Development. Based on the program of works, segment is to be completed by Aug. 7, 2020 (362 calendar days with 125 unworkable days) while segment 2 is targeted to be done in 688 calendar days with 239 unworkable days until June 29, 2029.
Engr. Mammag made clear that DA-PRDP aims to construct a world class infrastructure – of good quality, completed at the right time frame and within cost.
On the other hand, prior to the project implementation, the social and environmental safeguards (SES) concerns of the project affected persons (PAPs) were addressed. There were 179 PAPs identified with structures, crops and other properties that are affected by the project. Of the 179, some 167 executed waiver of rights; 11 donated lands and one expropriation case. NPCO SES unit head Angelita Martir discussed compliance of the environmental social management plan.
Meanwhile, during the ground breaking ceremonies for the two segments; Kalawit and Labason, on August 16, OIC Regional Executive Director Dr. Dennis H. Palabrica mentioned the immense role of the barangay officials and the community in monitoring the daily construction activities in their respective areas.
“You are the end user of this project. We don’t want to see that after its turnover to the LGU cracks would surface,” he said. He cited the ultimate goal of PRDP which is to increase farmers’ income through good quality road that reduce transport cost of farm products, increase traffic density that invite investors to come in.
Governor Roberto Y. Uy, for his part inspired his constituents to have availed the biggest DA-PRDP subproject throughout the entire country.
Kalawit Mayor Salvador Antojado expressed gratitude to the DA-PRDP and PLGU for providing good road to 29-year old and youngest municipality in Zamboanga del Norte. “This is a big boost to our economy because travel time would be shortened from Kalawit to Sibugay (Ipil) trading rubber and abaca fiber and other farm products,” he said
Labason Mayor Eddie Quimbo, on the other hand, is committed to give assistance and will do its best to maintain a peaceful environment conducive for work along the construction site as he will extend full coordination in the inspection and monitoring of construction activities and will assist in the proper maintenance of the road upon completion.