Key officials from DA Region 9 and PRDP Mindanao Project Support Office together with Buug Municipal Mayor Jonam R. Lagas (right) led the turn over of the Pamintayan-Bawang farm-to-market road (FMR). Second from left are: DA 9 ARD Dennis Palabrica, RD Constancio G. Alama and PRDP Mindanao DPD Araceli Morano, (Photo by Gian Enrique)

New FMR opens more opportunities in Buug town

Date Published: December 27, 2016

Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay – Around 400 households in two barangays in this town can look forward to an increase in economic activity with the completion of a farm-to-market road (FMR), which was turned over here recently.

The FMR connects the barangays of Bawang and Pamintayan whose residents have started to enjoy the benefits of the road even before its completion.

“Development before was so remote until the Pamintayan-Bawang road project of PRDP commenced. It changed a lot since this road links the two barangays,” Bawang Punong Barangay Edmundo Hernando said.

The village chief said that in the past, coconut farmers had to hire horses to haul their copra down to the crossing and spend another transport cost from crossing to Poblacion using habal-habal (single motor vehicles).

The 3.62-kilometer FMR is the first project funded and implemented by the Department of Agriculture through its Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Zamboanga Peninsula, with a total project cost of P47 million.

“We are happy because copra buyers would come over to our place now,” 82-year old Alim Ampuan said, adding that life before was difficult.

He also said that they used to fetch water from afar. But with the new road, he said that they were able to solicit pipes to bring water supply from Balogoan to flow to their homes.

He added that they were able to construct their mosque quickly since construction materials were delivered by the supplier at the construction site.

“Apart from me who is already in twilight years, my children and grandchildren are so happy of the good road we have now,” Ustadz Ampuan added.

Today, more houses start to rise along the Bawang-Pamintayan road, he noted.

“I witness how happy the people have become because first of all, they no longer walk 2-3 kilometers. At present, almost all residents here have their own motorcycles. It is easy for them to go to Poblacion to deliver their products and back home faster than before,” Mayor Jonam Lagas said.

He added that the concreting of the FMR has opened more opportunities not only to farmers but to fisherfolk as well.

Along with the turnover of the new road, a mini ice plant in Barangay Pamintayan was also inaugurated and turned over to the local government of Buug to operate.

“We hope that with these two infrastructure projects, there would be an increase in the town’s income and ultimately reduce poverty among those directly benefiting from the projectsand spill over to adjacent coastal municipalities like Malangas (Zamboanga Sibugay) and Margosatubig in Zamboanga del Sur,” DA 9 Regional Director Constancio Alama said.

Of the P1.52 billion Infrastructure Development portfolio of Region 9 under PRDP, the Bawang-Pamintayan road concreting is the first subproject turned over this year.

Deputy Project Director Araceli Morano from PRDP Mindanao Project Support Office said that since it is already accepted by the LGU, “it is now Buug’s responsibility to maintain the road so that the next generations can still benefit from it.”

After Buug, two segments in RT Lim municipality are also near completion – the Casacon-Tilasan FMR and San Antonio-Sitio Lugami FMR. (Remai S. Alejado, DA RPCO 9)

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