The Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) 02 approved the five (5) proposed farm-to-market roads (FMR) in Cagayan Valley, under the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA -PRDP) Project Coordination Office 02, yesterday, January 31, during the 32nd regular meeting, in Tuguegarao City.

Once issued a No Objection Letter (NOL), the proposed SPs will be constructed in Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, and Cagayan provinces with an estimated total amount of Php 873,574, 110 M, spanning some 31.98 km in five (5) municipalities.

The board thoroughly reviewed the proposed FMRs namely; upgrading of Dimapula-Dilakit FMR in Divilacan, Isabela; upgrading of Pangawan-Banao FMR in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya; rehabilitation of Pateng-Callao FMR in Gonzaga, Cagayan; rehabilitation of Agusi FMR in Camalaniugan, Cagayan, and construction of Nanauatan-Pasingan-Battut-Lattut FMR in Rizal, Cagayan.

The meeting highlighted the need to approve these infrastructure projects to benefit the fishers and farmers, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas such as Divilacan, Kayapa, and Rizal.

Divilacan Mayor Venturito Bulan recounted that their town is isolated during massive typhoons. They can’t immediately rescue or assess damages brought about by calamities because of lack of road access. “I am grateful to the RPAB because this is something we can genuinely be looking forward to. This project will connect us to our people and will result to easy transport of agricultural products and inputs.”

Meanwhile, local chief executives and representatives showed how these FMRs would further improve the lives of their constituents.

Kayapa Mayor Elizabeth Balasya said the road access would help improve their farmers’ socio-economic, maintain the quality of the Agri commodities, and maximize the utilization of the agricultural areas in villages of Pangawam, Banao, and Cabayo. “Thank you, DA PRDP and RPAB, for this timely approval. Our town is looking forward for this much-awaited project implementation.”

For his part, Rizal Vice Mayor Atty. Joel Ruma said once issued an NOL, this FMR will be their second foreign-assisted project, and their team is working hard to make that happen. “We have focused our attention right now to have this FMR implemented in our municipality. Imagine, I was still amazed how big this project is, and it will surely help Malauegs.”

Calamaniugan Mayor Angelica Cabaddu-Dela Cruz thanked the board for their support. “On behalf of the people of Camalaniugan, thank you for the assistance and help by approving our proposed FMR.”

For his part, Gonzaga Vice Mayor Jessie Gaspar said the SP would uplift the lives of farmers in the area. ” Thank you to the agencies that is backing us to attain inclusive growth.”

Rose Mary G. Aquino, regional technical director for Research and Regulatory, said that infrastructure is a significant driver of economic prosperity and that well-built and sustainable infrastructure maximizes the positive impacts of these high-priced investments.

Aquino, the Deputy Project director, also said that the local government units are encouraged to take advantage of this worthwhile infrastructure investment with the project’s extension.

Regional Executive and Project Director Narciso A. Edillo extended his congratulations to the presenters as he is confindent that these developments will create impact to their communities. 

The approved proposed SPs will be endorsed to North Luzon Project Support Office for further review and approval. Afterwhich, the same will be endorsed to the National Project Coordination Office for approval and issuance of NOL 1 after a rigorous review.

Present RPAB members were:

  1. Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council Chairman Dante Tobias
  2. Engr. Andres Cafugauan, PRDP Focal Person of the Department of Agrarian Reform
  3. For. Marina Malamug, Forest Management and Conservation Section Chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  4. Engr. Cecil Santos, Asst. Chief Planning and Designs Division
  5. Department of Trade and Industry R02 Asst. Regional Director Winston Tan Singun
  6. Department of the Interior and Local Government Region 2 Director Jonathan Paul M. Leusen Jr
  7. National Commission on Indigenous People representative Anne Marie Sugguiyao