December 20, 2017

Genedina Betito, 66, of Brgy. Tobgon Oas, Albay used to cross a flooded spillway to reach the town proper. From her house, she rides a motorcycle called “habal-habal,” stops at muddy road sections and walks if necessary to safely reach her destination.

According to Betito, even parents, students and teachers struggle with the heavily damaged roads especially during rainy season.

“Kadipisil talaga kang sitwasyon ta kung baha baga king kuwa nali-late ta nagpababa-baba pa ning tubig (We’re really in a very difficult situation back then. During flood, commuters get late because they had to wait for the water to subside),” Betito said.

The Rehabilitation/Improvement of Pistola-Tablon Road with 3 units bridges will soon resolve Betito’s woes. Package 1 or the 15.03-kilometer farm-to-market road from Brgy. Pistola to Tablon is already 91.07 percent completed while package 2 or the 90 linear meter bridges in Brgy. Ramay, Brgy. Tobgon and Brgy. Badbad now has 58.46 percent physical progress.


During the Midterm Review Mission Site Visit at the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subproject on December 4, 2017, World Bank Rural Infrastructure Engineer Raoul Azanza recommended to fast track the bridge construction to hit the March 2018 target date of completion. Meanwhile, to guarantee the climate-resiliency of the FMR, he advised to re-run the hydraulic analysis for portions washed out by typhoon Nina on December 25, 2016. This will check whether the structures installed can sustain actual run off or whether redesigning them is required. The infrastructure development (I-BUILD) team was also advised to observe cleanliness in all stretch of the subproject.

Moreover, Azanza advised the project implementers to have constant communication with the community, local government officials and other concerned citizens. This can be achieved by providing updates about the status of the subproject during regular barangay assemblies.   

During the Exit Meeting, World Bank Task Team Leader Frauke Jungbluth urged the I-BUILD team to look at problem cases of infrastructure subprojects in order to have an emergency recovery plan.

“Yes, we’ve done good but until we’ve come to that point, let’s try to improve on the ones that we think are not so good. We have plenty that are fine but the ones that need our special attention, let’s give special attention to them. We need to show that we are improving and that we are acting on where we see is not going well. I would like to see more, faster action so that we can avoid too much delays,” Jungbluth added.

The Rehabilitation/Improvement of Pistola-Tablon Road with 3 Units Bridges is one of the 10 I-BUILD subprojects under implementation in Bicol worth a total of P880.79 million. As of November 20, 2017, the region has a total of 18 approved I-BUILD subprojects which costs a total of P1.35 billion and will benefit 36,499 individual beneficiaries.

Betito is thankful that through PRDP’s I-BUILD subproject, the bridges will soon be functional.

“Pasalamat ako ta tibad madali-dali naman bagang magibo kading tulay namon. Salamat man sa kalsada ta bukon na atrasado kan na biyahe, dire-diretso na, di tulad noon na lubak-lubak (I am thankful because most likely our bridge will soon be completed. Thank you also for the road because it has reduced our travel time unlike before when our road was still uneven),” she added.

PRDP is a six-year development project being implemented by the Department of Agriculture that aims to establish an inclusive, market-oriented and climate-resilient agri-fishery sector in the countryside. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)