GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 23 Oct) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is investing around P152 million in the next two years for the rehabilitation and improvement of farm-to-market roads in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat.
Isulan Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue said Thursday such allocation was based on the total cost of projects that were approved by the DA central office for the area under the World Bank-supported Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).
He said their municipality was earlier chosen by the agency as among the pilot areas in Mindanao for the infrastructure support component of the initiative.
On Wednesday, the local government received a certificate of availability funds from DA Region 12 for the first tranche of the approved financial grant for the area amounting to P33.7 million.
The mayor said such funding is part of the initial P48 million worth of farm-to-market roads that was set for implementation in three barangays in the area this year.
He said the project involves the rehabilitation and concreting of a two-kilometer road that stretches from barangays Kudanding, Bual and Tayugo.
“The initial phase of the project is now almost complete so we’re now processing the release of payment to the contractor,” he said.
Pallasigue said the remaining P104 million grant, which was set for implementation early next year, will cover five more palay-producing barangays in the area.
He said the project, which is due for completion by June next year, involves the rehabilitation and concreting of around 14 kilometers of farm-to-market roads.
PRDP, though the DA and the World Bank, shoulders 90 percent of the total project cost while the local government assumes the remaining 10 percent, he said.
“We prioritized these projects because 80 percent of our residents in Isulan are farmers,” he said.
Pallasigue said the PRDP approved the implementation of these projects in November last year but it took the local government several months to complete the processing of the required documents.
“We faced some difficulty in the processing of project documents as there was no established template for us to follow being a pioneer or pilot area,” he said.
But with the assistance of the PRDP, he said they eventually established the necessary templates for the processing of required documents that could be used by other recipient-local government units.