By Jezza Nepomoceno
ILOILO – Two consultants from World Bank are here on Wednesday to inspect the implementation of the biggest and longest farm-to-market road (FMR) they are funding to bring forth economic growth in the province’s sole component city.
The concreting of 28-kilometer Imbang Grande-Tagubong-Gemumua-Agahon FMR in Passi City, which costs P257.8-million, is under the Philippine Rural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture.
Engrs. Raoul Azanza of I-BUILD, a component of PRDP that aims to put in place strategic and climate-resilient rural infrastructure facilities, and Jonas Bautista of social environmental safeguard traversed about 25-kilometer from the city proper to reach the farthest village of Gemumua Agahon and Salngan to hold a public dialogue.
“They asked the villagers randomly if they were consulted prior to the implementation. They wanted to ensure if we followed the process and based on their public dialogue, there were no adverse reactions,” reported Provincial Planning Officer Mila Dellomo.
Dellomo, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, representing Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., and Passi City Mayor Jesry Palmares accompanied the consultants and other officials of PRDP National Project Coordinating Office in Metro Manila to the project site as part of World Bank’s 2nd Implementation Support Mission for PRDP.
Dellomo said the villagers were grateful and appreciative of World Bank’s support and for bringing a project they never expect in their lifetime.
“There is this one resident who told the consultants that he is no longer expecting remuneration from the trees and other infrastructure affected by the road in his property because for him, it is his share to make the project happen,” Dellomo added.
Banias also made the same remark through his Facebook account. He posted: “it is so heartwarming to hear barangay officials and ordinary people, who for decades suffered the difficulty of having bad and inaccessible road, sincerely expressing their appreciation and gratefulness to World Bank and government officials for making this project a reality. This project is close to the heart of Gov. Art Defensor who long committed to himself that if given an opportunity he’ll prioritize this vital stretch of road.”
PRDP is a six-year national project under DA that aims to establish a modern, value-chain oriented, and climate resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
It is designed to provide key infrastructure, facilities, technology and information to raise incomes, productivity and competitiveness in targeted areas.
It also aims to strengthen good governance, transparency and accountability mechanisms at all stages of the project cycle.
It also intends to operationalize a local level convergence platform among relevant national line agencies and other stakeholders to synergize projects and programs that benefit the greater segment of the farmers and fishers towards attaining inclusive growth.
PRDP is jointly funded by the World Bank, the National Government and the Local Government Units.