SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews/14 February) – An Australian assisted program on developing local road network infrastructure tapped village-based women’s groups here to participate in maintaining and rehabilitating their access road so as to push economic activities in the countryside.
At least 300 women representing three organizations in Barangays Pisaan, Tagapua and Borbon, all in San Francisco, participated in a workshop to map out their contributions for their respective barangays on road maintenance and rehabilitation program.
Held Thursday last week in Tagapua, one of San Francisco’s rice producing barangays, the workshop was initiated by Philippines Provincial Road Management Facility (PPRMF), a five-year development initiative of the Philippine government and Australia which started on 2009.
Oibone Enobio, PPRMF communications officer, said the PPRMF’s P24.6-million rehabilitation of the Pisaan-Borbon road project in San Francisco was completed January last year. She said it is a 6.1-kilometer provincial gravel road that connects barangays Pisaan, Tagapua and Borbon.
She cited that PRMF aims to boost the local economy by improving road transport so that more people will have better access to rehabilitated and maintained road networks, economic activity and public infrastructure and services that will improve their livelihoods
The road network, however, was destroyed by flashflood caused by continuous heavy rains that hit Agusan del Sur last December. The road in low-lying areas that connects Pisaan, Tagapua and Borbon was washed out by flood waters.
Jerry Parcon, Tagapua barangay chairman, said the provincial engineering office (PEO) would soon implement road repair and concreting project in the areas destroyed by flood. He said the road concreting would start from Pisaan to Tagapua.
Ever Abosolo, Agusan del Sur’s PPRMF coordinator, said the provincial government under Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza’s leadership is very supportive in their rehabilitation project in the locality.
Abosolo pointed out that the PPRMF has initiated to tap barangay women organizations in order to empower them in supporting road rehabilitation project in their localities. He said they have also a working coordination with the PEO since their road project is within the PPRMF’s road program.
“We are happy that the local government units in the area have organized women’s groups to help in planning, maintaining and monitoring of the road project,” he said.
The outcome of the workshop, Abosolo explained, would be submitted to the PEO and project contractor. He said the contractor has committed to employ local residents, especially women, in the project.
In an interview, Parcon said good access road would help reduce their transportation cost, especially during harvest time. He added that it would also improve the barangay’s transport services.
At present, Parcon said the only available transportation in their area is the motorcycle, which costs a passenger P30 in going to town center. It would also cost P30 to transport a sack of palay.
“No other vehicles would enter our barangay due to the bad roads,” he said, adding that motorcycle fare is more expensive compared to that of the jeepney in other areas with better roads.
Parco said Tagapua, which produces 14,000 sacks of palay rice (700 metric tons) per cropping, is only nine kilometers away from San Francisco. (Alden Pantaleon / MindaNews)