GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 January) — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed some PHP150.9 million worth of infrastructure projects that were designed to help improve access and productivity in an emerging agribusiness area in Lake Sebu town, South Cotabato province.
Engr. Khalil Sultan, chief of the South Cotabato 2nd District Engineering Office, said these comprised three road and two bridge projects that were funded under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development Program (MinSAAD).
He said DAR had approved at least six infrastructure support projects in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu under the program.
A report released by DPWH-Region 12 said the finished projects covered a total of 13.09 kilometers (km) of farm-to-market roads and combined 30 meters (m) of bridges.
Completed were the concreting of the Block 2-Antual-K’batang road (6.96 km); Tinugas-Lawaan road (3.43 km); Block 4-Seven Lakes road (2.70 km); Sitio K’batang bridge (10 m); and, Antual bridge (20 m).
“These were completed last December and already turned over to the recipients,” the official said.
He said the concreting of the 9.20-km first segment of the Ned Proper- S’laban-K’batang road is ongoing and due for completion by the end of the month.
Sultan said the projects were aimed to help boost the productivity of small farmers in parts of Barangay Ned, which is one of the remotest barangays of South Cotabato.
The area, which hosts about 35 percent of Lake Sebu’s over 90,000 population and home to indigenous Tbolis, Tirurays, Ubos and Manobos, had been identified by the provincial government as a potential prime agribusiness zone.
“With these projects, transportation of farm products would be safer, fast and convenient, and will result to fair market prices,” he added.
In the last three years, DPWH-12 already completed 15 of 27 projects that were approved for implementation in the region under the MinSAAD.