A geotagged photo of the Maruyugon - Macarascas Farm-to-Market Road in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
The recent approval of three farm-to-market roads (FMRs) in the provinces of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro increased the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) component’s portfolio in the MIMAROPA Region.
The 11.52-kilometer “Construction and Concreting of Maruyugon – Macarascas FMR” in Puerto Princesa City and the 10.40-kilometer “Construction and Upgrading of Antonino – Taradungan FMR with 30 L.M. RCDG Bridge” in Roxas are the two new FMRs in Palawan.
Worth P357.36 million in total, both subprojects are focused on improving the situation of the cashew industry by facilitating transport of agricultural commodities.
In Oriental Mindoro, the “Concreting of Tigkan – General Esco – Mahabang Parang FMR” worth P62.45 million will provide the same infrastructure support for the calamansi industry. The subproject measures 5.8 kilometers and is located in Naujan, one of the largest calamansi-producing municipalities in the province.
From 2007 – 2016, the MIMAROPA Region had been the leading producer of cashew and fresh calamansi in the country with Palawan and Oriental Mindoro being the largest producers among the regions.
The three subprojects are expected to improve road conditions consequently reduce travel time, decrease transport cost, and increase the income of cashew and calamansi farmers in both provinces.
“They [farmers] will strive even more if they know others are helping them. If they find that no one else is interested in helping them, they will lose hope. And hope is important in an individual,” said Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron in one of the meetings with PRDP.
There are now 12 approved I-BUILD interventions in MIMAROPA; four of which are already complete while the rest are under implementation. Additional 13 interventions are in the pipeline. These include FMRs, FMRs with bridges, potable water systems, and enterprise development (I-REAP) subprojects.
With a total cost of P1.94 billion, the subprojects will support the other priority commodities of the region like arrowroot, geonet, carabao mango, cassava, tuna and coconut.
As of March 2018, the I-BUILD component has more than 26,000 household beneficiaries among the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.