LIBMANAN, CAMARINES SUR –  A year after its completion, the farm-to-market road (FMR) funded by the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in this municipality now reduces the travel time of residents within the road influence area. This was one of the findings of the Rapid Appraisal of Emerging Benefits (RAEB) conducted by a team from the PRDP National Project Coordination Office (NPCO), Project Support Office (PSO) South Luzon and Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) Monitoring and Evaluation Unit on the Rehabilitation of San Isidro to Pag Oring Nuevo FMR on April 22 to 26, 2019.

The RAEB, an evaluation initiative of the Project management, focuses on determining the successes of individual subproject (SP) and their relevance to the Project Development Objectives. In collaboration with PRDP staff from other components and units and their counterparts in the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) of Camarines Sur, the team conducted key informant interview (KII) with the Provincial Local Government Unit, household surveys to farmer-beneficiaries, KIIs and focus group discussion with farmers, barangay officials, traders and Project Affected Persons (PAPs). PRDP staff from CALABARZON and MIMAROPA also assisted in the conduct of the weeklong activity.

According to PSO South Luzon M&E Specialist Arvin San Juan, quick findings of the RAEB show that travel time decreased by 38 percent. This exceeded the SP objective of attaining an average of 23 percent reduction in travel time.

Coconut and livestock farmer and barangay councilor Rhoderick Alvaro of Brgy. Pag-Oring Nuevo in Libmanan, Camarines Sur attested that the FMR helped hasten the transportation of agricultural products and made travelling more comfortable for commuters.

“Isa po sa mga pagbabagong idinulot ng proyekto ay napabilis ang transportation. Kumbaga, dati one hour kapag balikan, ngayon po 30 minutes na lang. Hindi na rin gaanong bugbog sa byahe ang katawan ng mga byahero lalung-lalo na nung mga sumasakay sa motor o habal- habal di tulad noong lubak-lubak pa ang kalsada at abala ang byahe. Ngayon po mas maganda na ang pagbabyahe kasi hindi na paalon-alon ang kalsada,” Alvaro said.

However, the RAEB team noted a 32 percent increase in hauling cost and 15 percent decrease in household income from farming. San Juan cited inflation, high fuel cost, increased rate of labor, an ordinance setting load limit on 10-wheeler trucks, and low demand for copra as causal factors. The team also identified some issues and concerns which include existing damages in some portions of the road, frequent road accidents caused by repairs made on the scaled road, and higher hauling and labor cost due to the enforcement of the aforementioned municipal ordinance. The RAEB results were presented to the PLGU officials and will be submitted to the PRDP management to deliver feedback which may aid decision-making on adjustments and better approaches to make Project efforts and interventions more sustainable. The six-kilometer Rehabilitation of San Isidro to Pag Oring Nuevo FMR was completed on April 30, 2018. The P44.28 million-worth FMR was the first completed PRDP I-BUILD SP in Bicol, projected to benefit 1,514 households and 7, 287 individuals. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)

The M&E team from PRDP NPCO, PSO South Luzon and RPCO Bicol conducts a Key Informants Interview with the Provincial Local Government Unit of Camarines Sur in line with the Rapid Appraisal of Emerging Benefits (RAEB) of the Rehabilitation of San Isidro to Pag Oring Nuevo FMR on April 22, 2019.