Aggie Chief awards P600 million I-BUILD subprojects to Cagayan
Barely more than a month after he took office, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel – Manny Piñol wasted no time to continue building on the progress of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) when he personally awarded P600 million worth of three road projects to the province of Cagayan on August 12 at the Governor’s Office, Provincial Capitol.
On a quick North Luzon leg of his Byaheng Bukid, Secretary Piñol met with Cagayan Governor Manny Mamba to award three subprojects under the I-BUILD or Infrastructure Component. “These projects shall primarily support the development of the dairy industry of the province apart from providing market accessibility for major agricultural farm products in the identified road influence areas. The subprojects will likewise enhance the capacity of the province as a major source of food supply in the country,” he said.
In a statement released by the Office of the Secretary, Piñol added that “the projects shall greatly improve the production capacity and agricultural productivity of the province.”
Additional concrete road networks
During his short visit, Secretary Piñol awarded the documents showing funding commitments for the road networks under the PRDP:
• Rehabilitation of Alcala East Farm- to-Market Road (FMR) in the municipality of Alcala covering about 13.1 km of road concreting and an 87-lineal meter-long bridge worth P200.025 million;
• Construction/Rehabilitation of Namabbalan Norte-Baliuag-Bical- Cabbo FMR traversing Tuguegarao City and the municipality of Peñablanca, with 17.4 km of concrete road and 57 lineal meters of bridge amounting to
P200.613 million; and
• FMR in Amulung and Solana towns with 20.25 km of concrete road and 143 lineal meters of bridge worth P203.195 million.
The PLGU’s role
The Alcala East FMR shall be awarded to the winning contractor after the submission of full compliance requirements and the Namabbalan and Iraga FMRs are up for bidding pending submission of procurement requirements by the Provincial Local Government of Cagayan.
The concerns over possible realignment or cancellation of these subprojects were settled with the magnanimous decision and assurance of the new governor to pursue the subprojects’ implementation. The whole DA contingent was engulfed with great relief and affirmation.
In a statement, the Provincial Local Government of Cagayan “has ensured the completion of the projects without any political interference.”
In return, the Secretary has given his commitment to fully support the implementation of the project and the full cooperation of the DA.
Attaining Food Sufficiency
The potential of the province of Cagayan as a major source of food production in the country has been underscored in the short meeting between the Secretary and the Governor. DA-RFO 02 Regional Executive Director Lucrecrio Alviar, Jr. said that Cagayan continues to be a major producer of rice and corn albeit natural calamities that befall the region.
Alviar added that “in 2015, Cagayan posted a sufficiency level of 290% for rice and 229% sufficiency for white corn, and this can be attributed to the interventions and complementation of strategies carried out by DA and the Local Government Units (LGU).”
The Byaheng Bukid to Cagayan solidifies the province’s position to contribute greatly to the food sufficiency goals considering its high production rate in rice, corn and livestock.
“The DA shall assist the province of Cagayan to help sustain its productive capacity and alleviate the lives of our farmers and fisher folks,” said RED Alviar.
“With three road network projects about to be implemented, we are optimistic of Cagayan’s sustained contribution to the regional and national food sufficiency goals.”
The PRDP is a six-year rural development project being implemented by DA worth over P27.5 billion funded through a loan from World Bank with counterpart from the national government and LGUs. It includes the construction of roads and bridges, financing for livelihood projects and facilities which would contribute to greater productivity. (Hector Tabbun & Jaycee Capalungan, RPCO2 InfoACE)