DA, OPAPP projects in Mountain Province

>> Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Angel Baybay and A. Canero

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Personnel from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process (OPAPP) and Peace and Development Office of the Philippine Army were in town recently to assess implemented projects funded by their offices.
These included those in Sadanga and Besao towns where they also met with officials and beneficiaries.
Sadanga mayor Jose Limmayog said that some water works projects could not yet serve intended beneficiaries due to problems but said it could be ironed out through public meetings.
He added he formed a group to discuss with land owners affected by the proposed road to barangay Belwang, the farthest area in the municipality without a road.
“There is already a group to talk things out with affected land owners. Hopefully, negotiations will bear fruit so that we can push through with the proposal. Building a road from barangay Sacasacan to Belwang could boost economic activity in the area,” the mayor said.
In Besao, the group motored through the 28-km Besao-Abra road.
The newly opened road which was funded mainly by PAMANA is the only direct route from the province to Abra.
Starting at Poblacion, Besao the road winds through Barangay Tamboan and enters Barangay Tubtuba in Tubo, Abra.
“This is a legacy project. It is the nearest way to Abra. Given more funding to sustain the road the year round, it will hasten the development of the remotest barangays of Mountain Province and Abra,” said OPPAP’s Thomas Killip.
Residents of Tubtuba and the nearby barangays of Be-ew and Kili   usually market their produce in Besao and Sagada where they also buy their daily basic needs. It is likewise on these municipalities where they avail of medical attention being more accessible than the nearest health facility in Abra.
The road is seen to improve tourism industry of both provinces as it snakes through wide open areas where mountain ranges spiked by the towering Tirad Pass could be viewed.
Joining Killip in the Besao to Abra trip were OPPAP peace accords management director Susan Marcaida, Joey Olpindo, Colonel Merrill Sumalinog of the Peace and Development Office of the Philippine Army, governor Bonifacio  Lacwasan, Jr., vice governor Francis Tauli,  Besao Mayor Johnson Bantog, Sagada mayor James Payko Pooten, and Marceline Bahatan from the Cordillera Bodong Administration.
“We did not only see it. We also felt it. After our visit, we will be making our assessment and come out with suggestions to higher offices,” answered Marcaida when asked of her comments on the implemented projects.
Among the infrastructure projects which is soon to start is the Betwagan (Sadanga) road opening and the Besao-Abra road improvement.
On the same visit, former Cordillera People’s Liberation Army members surrendered their firearms. The turned over firearms include 2 buck shots, 1 M1 garand rifle, 1 vintage rifle, 1 22 caliber rifle, and 1 22 caliber revolver.
This, as the Sanguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution requesting Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel F. Piñol to include Mountain Province as one of beneficiaries of  “special areas for agricultural development (SAAD).
This resolution was submitted to DA Undersecretary for high value crops Evelyn Lavinia during coffee farmers forum here last week at the multi-purpose hall.
Laviña said the resolution will be passed to the Office of Secretary Piñol for review.
Mt. Province relies mainly on agriculture for survival and is faced with many challenges such as small farm size, limited arable lands, underutilized farm lands due to water supply constraint, low operational efficiency of existing irrigation system, deficit rural infrastructure like irrigation, roads, bridges, post-harvest facilities, high cost of farm inputs and agricultural labor, weak linkages between producers and enterprises and the competing use on agricultural lands.
These are some of the reasons why Mt. Province ranks number 13 among the poorest province in the Philippines and North Luzon based on family income and expenditure survey of 2015 by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The officials of Mountain Province believe that the inclusion of the officials will benefit the farmers of the province to have an alternative livelihood, increase crop production and farm income that will contribute to the economic growth and development of the province.
Under the SAAD, the DA has allocated P100 million worth of livelihood programs to help improve the lives of the farmers in the ten poorest province in the country and only province of Apayao in the region was included the coverage area.


  © Blogger templates Palm by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics