NTF-ELCAC project turns Antique farmers’ dream into reality
By Annabel Consuelo Petinglay / Philippine News Agency
SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The PHP20-million farm-to-market road (FMR) leading to Barangay Bulan-bulan in San Remigio, Antique, funded by the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), is set for groundbreaking on Dec. 15.
Once completed, the FMR will ease the transport of agricultural goods from the upland village to the town market, according to Provincial Engineer Inocencio Dajao.
“Although we will be implementing the project phase by phase but once it is finished, it could already make Barangay Bulan-bulan accessible,” he said in an interview Monday.
The funding for Phase 1 could only concretize half of the four-kilometer road that will start from the last paved road in Barangay Aningalan.
The provincial government also allocated an additional PHP5 million under its 2022 budget for the road construction.
Without the access road, residents of Bulan-bulan disembark at Barangay Aningalan and walk all the way to their destination.
San Remigio Mayor Margarito Mission Jr. said the project is targeted for completion within six months.
“The road project is a long-time dream of residents who are into rice, corn and other root crops farming so they will have access to sell their products at the town market without spending so much for hauling cost,” he said in another interview.
The groundbreaking was supposed to be held on December 2 but was postponed due to a military operation that dismantled the hideout of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army terrorists in Barangay Alimodias, Miagao, Iloilo the day before.
One of the rebels who died, Roger Pedro, was a resident of Barangay Osorio, also in San Remigio.
San Remigio, located in the mountainous boundary of Antique and Iloilo provinces, serves as the cross-border of CPP-NPA rebels fleeing from government forces.
BDP, a hallmark program of NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities, has identified 822 barangays nationwide that will receive PHP20 million each for FMR, classrooms, water and sanitation systems, health stations, and livelihood projects.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)