Vicente Malapitan (right) shares the emerging benefits of the Bagong Silang–Macatoc FMR in an interview during the Thematic Evaluation Study in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. (Photo by Leira Vic Colongon, DA-PRDP MIMAROPA RPCO InfoACE Unit)
“Dati po dumaraan ako dito, rough road pa nga ito. Siguro kung papuntang bayan at dito dadaan sa lugar na ito, aabutin siguro mga dalawang oras. Pero ngayon po na concrete na ang kalsada, bale mga isang oras na lang ang byahe (I used to pass here when it is still a rough road. Through this route, the travel time going to the capital is about two hours. Now that the road is concreted, it is just one hour of travel).”
This was how Vicente Malapitan, a farmer and resident of Brgy. Antonino, compared the before- and after-subproject scenario in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. He is one of the beneficiaries of the PRDP-funded “Concreting of Bagong Silang–Macatoc Farm-to-Market Road (FMR),” which is projected to bring socio-economic benefits to the barangays of Antonino, Macatoc, San Gabriel, Loyal, and Bagong Silang.
The infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subproject in Victoria is the first PRDP subproject in the MIMAROPA Region and in the South Luzon Cluster. In support to the Oriental Mindoro’s calamansi industry, the FMR was strategically situated in Victoria, which is the largest producer of calamansi in the province. This intervention was also based on science-based tools such as the Value Chain Analysis (VCA) and the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP).
“Malaking bagay na nakatulong ito dahil kung minsan ay taga-rito ang buyer [ng calamansi]. Galing Antonino, dinadala namin ang calamansi sa buyer na taga-rito (It is a huge help, because some buyers of calamansi are based here. From Antonino, we bring the calamansi to the buyers here),” Malapitan added, one year after the FMR’s completion.
In addition to the reduction in travel time, the new access road also reduced the hauling cost by 32 percent from P14.87 to P10.08 during the wet and dry seasons.
On the other hand, the traffic count increased by up to 180 percent, because of FMR. The residents now have improved access to vehicles such as motorcycles, tricycles, jeepneys, and trucks traversing the area.
A 28 percent increase in the household income among the farmer-residents of Bagong Silang, Antonino, Macatoc, San Gabriel, and Loyal was also reported by the PRDP Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Unit. Their income primarily comes from farming and marketing of commodities such as calamansi, banana, rambutan, lanzones, and sintores.
Since February 2017, the PRDP MIMAROPA has been gathering testimonies from Project beneficiaries of completed subprojects. Led by the M&E Unit, the Rapid Appraisal of Emerging Benefits (RAEB) was conducted in the province in February 2017, while the Thematic Evaluation Study was held last September.
These studies, with methods such as focus group discussions, household surveys, key informant interviews, and spot interviews, are not full-blown researches, but they are useful tools used by the PRDP to evaluate the initial impact of completed subprojects. These are also used to determine if the Project meets its objectives.
PRDP NPCO Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Head Jourvin Barrera (2nd from left, in light blue) leads the Focus Group Discussion with the barangay officials, traders, and farmers who are beneficiaries of the Bagong Silang–Macatoc FMR. (Photo by Leira Vic Colongon, DA-PRDP MIMAROPA RPCO InfoACE Unit)