P195-M Apayao farm-to-market road ‘antidote’ to insurgency
By Leilanie Adriano / Philippine News Agency
LAOAG CITY – The ongoing construction of an 11.85-kilometer Sta. Maria-Mallig-Upper Atok farm-to-market road (FMR) in Flora, Apayao is seen to boost economic livelihood and help end insurgency.
The PHP195 million project is under the World Bank-supported Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) with a 10 percent counterpart fund from the provincial government of Apayao.
The road is expected to benefit at least three farming villages of Flora such as Barangays Santa Maria, Mallig and Upper Atok.
Last April 30, a composite team from the provincial government of Apayao led by Governor Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang inspected the project, which is expected to be completed next year.
In a consultation meeting with village officials, Begtang urged residents to help the government in ensuring peace and order in their respective barangays, especially in the light of reported activities of communist terrorists.
Clashes between Philippine Army troopers and the communist rebels last March occurred in two interior barangays of Flora.
“Peace and order is the driving force that will allow us to overcome challenges and will open more doors to progress in the province,” the governor said during the meeting.
Once the multimillion farm-to-market road is completed, the governor expressed optimism that it will not only attract better market opportunities to benefit banana growers in the area but it will also open up investment and livelihood opportunities while improving the delivery of government services closer to people.
Amid an ongoing pandemic, the province of Apayao continues to implement its various infrastructure development projects such as the FMR improvement project in Flora town.
Other sub-projects in support of the program include the establishment of a warehouse in the municipalities of Sta. Marcela, Luna, Flora, Calanasan and Pudtol, a coffee processing center in Calanasan and a multipurpose banana trading center in Barangay Poblacion, Flora town which will soon consolidate banana produce in the said municipality.
“We are so much thankful for this project as this would facilitate the easier transport of farmers’ produce to the market," said Flora vice mayor Jessica de San Jose during the meeting.
She assured that the people of Flora will always be in full support of the provincial government’s efforts to alleviate poverty particularly in uplifting the lives of locals. (PNA)