ILOILO – The provincial government here has gained the approval of the Environmental Management Bureau for the construction of P262-million farm-to-market road in the mountainous barangays of Passi City.
The project which is funded by the World Bank under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) of the Department of Agriculture will cover the 28-kilometer Imbang Grande-Tagubong-Gemumua Agahon-Agtabo farm-to-market road – the longest in the Visayas.
PRDP is a six-year World Bank funded program (2013-2018) designed to establish an inclusive, market-oriented and climate resilient agriculture and fisheries sector through strategic investments in priority commodity value chains.
EMB Regional Director Jonathan Bulos issued the Environmental Compliance Certificate earlier this month following the evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment conducted by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
Now that the province has the ECC, the Bids and Awards Committee is set to hold a procurement conference tomorrow (February 12). The BAC will likewise start the preparation of the purchase requests for the needed construction materials.
But before the bidding takes place, the Provincial Planning and Development Office will still wait for the Certificate of Availability of Funds from World Bank.
Currently, the dirt road is accessible to all types of vehicle. But when rain comes, some portions of the road are not passable to jeepneys and tricycles.
Trucks and motorcycles, on the other hand, could manage the soft-muddy portions of the existing road network.
The present road condition makes the cost of transporting people and goods very expensive, due to high vehicle operating cost.
If it will be paved, the good road condition can resolve the problems identified from the current road condition.
The vehicle operating cost will be at the minimum. The cost of transportation will also be reduced, travel time will be lessened into half and the travel time saved can be allocated in performing productive activities. Road accidents may also be minimized as well as post-harvest losses.
Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., who has been lobbying for the project to be materialized, is grateful that it was listed in PRDP’s priority projects this year.
“This project will benefit thousands of farmers in Passi City and I am very thankful that we secured funding for this project,” he said. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)