LEGAZPI CITY – To ensure both the quality and timeliness of the implementation of the Rehabilitation and Improvement of Hacienda-Rawis Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in Tabaco City, Albay, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP)-Bicol Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team conducted a capacity building training for the project stakeholders on December 16-17, 2019 in this city.

The activity consists of trainings on Citizens Monitoring Tool (CMT), creation of Barangay Implementing Team (BIT), geotagging tool and Grievance Redress Mechanism. Representatives from the Municipal Project Management and Implementation Unit (MPMIU) in Tabaco City, the project contractor, and barangays included in the road influence area attended the two-day activity. The trainings were facilitated by PRDP-Bicol M&E Officer Rhodelia Remot, Social and Environmental Safeguards Officer Teresita Blanqueza, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Officer Engr. Philbert Nebres, and Rural Infrastructure Engineers Engr. Jimbo Bjorn Salceda and Engr. Marianne Ariño.

According to Remot, the trainings are also designed to promote transparency, assert project operations, maintenance and sustainability and strengthen partnership and sense of ownership with the communities.

The trainings also capacitated the members of the BIT and other local stakeholders on their relevant participation in project monitoring. The PRDP team also discussed the compositions and functions of each committee and assisted the participants in coming up with the draft BIT structure and barangay resolutions, and in setting out action plans for the endorsement and sustainability of the CMT and BIT.

“A climate resilient road is the lifeline of the community and has significant impact on the individual families. A good road network is essential to the socio-economic welfare of the country,” Ariño underscored.

She also provided recommendations for the road operations or conditions in the use of road network such as observing maximum speed limit by posting signs in strategic places, implementing and enforcing traffic laws and rules to avoid accidents, and setting load limit. 

“Mahalaga po itong training sa amin. Natutunan mi na magriparo ning mga materyales na ibubugtak duman sa roads. Gigibuhon mi po yan na pag-monitor sa barangay ta samuya po yan na proyekto, kami po kayan ang makikinabang (This training is important to us. We have learned how to evaluate the quality of materials being used in the road construction. As barangay officials, we shall do our part in monitoring the project because it is ours and we’ll be the ones to benefit from it),” Jobel Balingbing, chairman of Brgy. Hacienda, said.

Carlito Boral Sr., chairman of Brgy. Sagurong, agreed saying “Tanganing magayon ang project, pag may nahiling kaming problema, ipapaaram mi po tolos sa contractor tanganing mabago and mapagayon ang proyekto (We shall immediately inform the contractor if we observe project-related problems so they could rectify them and ensure project quality).” They also plan to share the inputs during the activity to their constituents through barangay assemblies to guarantee their involvement and support.

“Malaking tulong ito kasi from now on, we capacitate the barangay officials to help us in the monitoring of the project implementation particularly on the quality aspects of the project. We’re looking forward to working with the barangay officials… to really assure that the quality of the project is done for the benefit of the residents there,” Engr. Ruben Nuñez, Project Engineer from 3RB Construction & Supply, remarked. The capacity building trainings for the Rehabilitation and Improvement of Hacienda-Rawis FMR in Tabaco, Albay is the third in the series of trainings on CMT, BIT, GRM and IOMG conducted by PRDP-Bicol to promote communities’ accountability and support to project supervision. Recently, the team initiated similar trainings for the Concreting of San Agustin – Tigbao FMR in Aroroy, Masbate and the Concreting of Junction Sabangan-Datag East FMR in Caramoran, Catanduanes. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V)