Road eases plight of fisherfolk in Maguindanao town
Parang, Maguindanao — For her to sell the fish-catch of her husband in the public market,
Aida Gampong has to walk close to a kilometer of uphill and narrow dirt road before reaching the highway where public transport ply the route to the town’s market.
“Over an hour of long walk was a burden and it had remained that way for many years before the road was concreted,” said the 32-year old mother of four.
“I usually carry a pail of at least 5 kilos of Danggit (rabbitfish) and Gisaw (mullet) because there was no means of transportation from our place to the highway,” she added.
The Gampong family lives in Sitio Kalutan, Barangay Making along with other 665 households in the coastal side of town where fishing and coconut farming has been the main source of livelihood. Aside from variety of fishes, marine products of the barangay include seaweeds, abalone, sea cucumber and shells.
The area also has at least 50 hectares of rice field, 65 hectares planted to corn and 300 hectares planted to coconut.
With the abundance of land and sea resources, rural life would have been easy had there been a proper road that links them to the town’s center.
Change has come
But things changed when the 2.55 kilometer Brgy. Making-Kalutan Farm-to-Market road concreting was funded P25.37 million by the Department of Agriculture- Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
“A lot has changed when the road was completed. Payong-payong (modified tricycle as local means of transportation) now enters our village. No more long walk on the dirty path to the highway,” Gampong said.
“This is a fulfilled promise of our government,” said Making Brgy. captain Reynaldo E. Quitor.
The retired senior police inspector said he had seen the difficulty of the place even before he was a barangay chairman.
“Our roads here were rough and no vehicle can pass through. Farmers and fisherfolk use carabao-drawn carts and horses to bring their products to the market,” Quitor said.
“After visiting our place, Mayor (Ibrahim Ibay), Gov. Esmael Mangundadatu and ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman had convergence effort to propose and provide funding for the construction of the road,” said Quitor.
“Now we enjoy the multiple benefits of the road,” he added.
Easy and safe access for school children to go to their schools, and fast access to social services from the government were just few of the many benefits they experienced after the road was fully concreted.
“The PRDP fund has been a big help to the local government because we were able to save a big amount for the rehabilitation of the road which now serves the fishing village of Brgy. Making,” said Parang Mayor Ibrahim Ibay.
He said that through the trainings of PRDP, the capacity of local government’s personnel has tremendously improved. They even use those skills in implementing projects from other agencies which also require the innovations applied in PRDP.
“The fishing village of Brgy. Making is now livelier. Residents have even bought their vehicles. The people are happy,” Ibay said. (Sherwin B. Manual/PRDP Mindanao)