PLACER, MASBATE – “On behalf of the Municipality of Placer and the barangays benefited, I accept this project with pride and honor. Hindi ako magsasawang magpasalamat sa Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) (On behalf of the Municipality of Placer and the barangays benefitted, I accept this project with pride and honor. I will never get tired of saying thank you to PRDP).” This summarizes Mayor Eusebio Dumoran Jr.,’s acceptance speech upon the ceremonial turn-over of the P120.88-million worth infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subproject Concreting of Aguada-Locso-an Farm-to-Market-Road (FMR) held at the Brgy. Plaza Burabod, in this municipality on October 1, 2019.
The Concreting of Aguada-Locso-an FMR is the first completed and turned-over I-BUILD subproject in the Province of Masbate. It will benefit 5,846 individuals or 1,087 households by supporting the province’s agricultural development program to expand the production of coco shell activated charcoal. It is also designed to strengthen farmers’ economic activities and increase their income by processing coco shell activated carbon as coconut by-product. Placer has the largest coconut area in Masbate with about 12,347 hectares of area planted with coconut, equivalent to 12.91 percent of the province’s total coconut area.
The ceremonial turn-over of the PRDP-funded FMR marked the local government unit’s (LGU) final acceptance of the completed facility in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. Present during the said activity were the members of the Municipal Project Management and Implementation Unit (MPMIU) of Placer, barangay officials of the road influence area (RIA), faculty members of the schools along the 9.50-kilometer FMR and the PRDP-Bicol Inspection Team, led by I-BUILD Component Head Engr. Teodoro Eleda.
William Cayao, chairman of Brgy. Mahayahay, a barangay located in the central part of the RIA, said that the concreted road made life more convenient for residents, particularly farmers in his barangay. He mentioned that 100 percent of the barangay’s population are engaged in copra, corn and rice production.
“Mula noong ako ay ipinanganak, mahirap talaga ang daan, minsan ang mga kuko namin natatanggal. Ngayon, maganda na ang byahe namin, nagde-deliver kami ng mga produkto galing sa bukid patungo sa bayan diretso na ang takbo. Dati, maghapon ang byahe kasi walang sasakyan na pumapasok (Ever since I was born, transportation has always been our struggle. Walking through the rough road made us suffer from torn nails. Now, transportation has improved, we can deliver products from the farm directly to the market. Previously, travel time takes one day because the road was inaccessible),” Cayao said.
He was also among the local officials who signified their commitment to maintain the completed FMR. Per PRDP guidelines, the LGU is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the completed subproject for a period of at least 10 years in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the operation and maintenance plan and subproject Implementation Management Agreement (IMA).
“Yung effort na ibinigay ng mga stakeholders was rewarded with the finished FMR. On our part sa MPMIU, nakita namin na ang sarap palang dumaan sa daan na iyong pinaghirapan (The stakeholders’ effort was rewarded with the finished FMR. On the part of the MPMIU, we realized how fulfilling it is to traverse a road that you worked hard for),” Engr. Rudy Villanueva, MPMIU Head of Placer, Masbate, said.
In his message, Eleda cited the role of the stakeholders in the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the FMR. He also recommended for the imposition of a load limit ordinance to minimize road damage. He underscored that the LGU’s track record in maintaining their previous PRDP-funded road will be a basis for giving them further investments. PRDP South Luzon and PRDP-Bicol will be conducting a semi-annual O&M audit to monitor the LGU’s compliance with the O&M plan. PRDP will also provide technical assistance in the routine maintenance of the FMR.
The activity started with a motorcade from Brgy. Aguada to Brgy. Locso-an, followed by a ceremonial unveiling of project marker headed by Mayor Dumoran and Engr. Eleda and a program held in Brgy. Burabod, one of the five barangays in the RIA. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V)
Mayor Eusebio Dumoran Jr. of Placer, Masbate and PRDP-Bicol I-BUILD Head Engr. Teodoro Eleda lead the unveiling of project marker for the Aguada-Locso-an FMR during its ceremonial turn-over held on October 1, 2019.
MPMIU-Placer Head Engr. Rudy Villanueva acknowledges the stakeholders’ efforts in the completion of the PRDP-funded Aguada-Locso-an FMR.
Mayor Eusebio Dumoran Jr. of Placer, Masbate delivers his acceptance speech during the ceremonial turn-over of the Concreting of Aguada-Locso-an Farm-to-Market-Road (FMR).
Mayor Eusebio Dumoran Jr. of Placer, Masbate signs the Certificate of Turn-Over of the Aguada-Locso-an Farm-to-Market-Road (FMR).
PRDP-Bicol Rural Infrastructure Engineer In-Charge Rodolfo Mirasol shares his experience during the construction of the Concreting of Aguada-Locso-an Farm-to-Market-Road (FMR) in Placer, Masbate.
The Municipal Engineer shares her insights about the LGU’s experience in implementing the PRDP subproject.
William Cayao, chairman of Brgy. Mahayahay and residents along the road influence area witness the Ceremonial Turn-Over of the Aguada-Locso-an Farm-to-Market-Road (FMR).
Photos by Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V