Matalam Mayor Oscar Valdevieso led his constituents from barangays Central Malamote, Lower Malamote and New Pandan while Kabacan Mayor George Tan led farmers of barangay Cuyapon for the event at sitio Maligaya of Barangay Lower Malamote in Matalam.
The provincial government and the two LGUs provided shovels for the farmers who joined what Gov. Jesus Sacdalan dubbed as the "pala-pala brigada para sa irigasyon at kalsada" (shovel brigade for irrigation and road). Five kilos or rice were also distributed to each farmer-volunteer through the provincial government's food-for-work program.
"This pala-pala brigade is just the start," Sacdalan said.
Sacdalan said he will eventually seek assistance from the national government for projects. But he stressed that they do not want to just wait for support “without doing anything on our end.”
"We have a total of 4,000 hectares which could be planted to rice in this area if there is adequate irrigation service. This is a substantial contribution to our efforts to expand rice production areas in the province in support of the food security program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo," Sacdalan said.
The governor said they will bring in engineering equipment from the province to combine with the equipment of Matalam and Kabacan in implementing the project. (MindaNews)