Cagayan Valley Province gets P600-million for roads,bridges

Byaheng Bukid Series of Manny Piñol

In a quick visit to the Cagayan Valley Provincial Capitol on the way back to to Manila from Apayao on Friday, I met with the new Governor, Manny Mamba, to bring him good news.The Philippine Rural Development Program, a project funded by the World Bank with counterparts from the national government and the local government, has approved three major road projects for Cagayan Valley amounting to over P600-M.

These huge infrastructure projects which support agriculture are:

– Alcala East Farm to Market Road in Alcala town composed of 13.1 kilometres of road concreting and an 87 lineal meter long bridge worth P200.025-M.

This project has already been bidder out and is scheduled to be awarded to the winning contractor.

– Namabbalan Norte-Baliuag-Bical-Cabbo Farm to Market Road in Tuguegarao City with 17.4 kilometres of concrete road and 57 lineal meters of bridge amounting to P200.613-M.

This project is scheduled for rebidding since the first bidding failed.

– Iraga-Bayabat Farm to Market Road in Amulung and Solana towns with 20.25 kilometres of concrete road and 143 lineal meters of bridge worth P203.195-M.

This project is up for bidding.

There were initial concerns over the implementation of the project because these are located in the bailiwicks of the political opponents of Gov. Mamba.

The new Governor, however, displayed statesmanship by declaring that the implementation of development projects in his province would not be tainted by politics.

On Friday, I turned over to Gov. Mamba the documents covering the three projects which would contribute greatly to agricultural production in the very large and rich province of Cagayan Valley.

The PRDP is one of the major foreign-funded projects being implemented by the Dept. of Agriculture. It includes the construction of roads and bridges, financing for livelihood projects and facilities which would contribute to greater productivity.

Not many people know this, but the PRDP actually is the national version of the Mindanao Rural Development Program which was started in Mindanao covering five provinces including North Cotabato.

This was launched when I was Governor of North Cotabato and I was deeply involved in the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of the first MRDP program.

In fact, the first headquarters of the MRDP was situated in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato and I proudly declare that North Cotabato was the outstanding performer during the first implementation of MRDP.

Owing to the success of MRDP, the World Bank and the Philippine Government decided to implement it nationwide calling it the PRDP.

Recently, I signed new loan documents involving the allocation of an additional $450-M financing from the World Bank for the extension of the PRDP.

In my sorties, I have emphasised to the local government leaders that they should participate in the PRDP program because the implementation of the projects is excellent owing to the safety nets observed by the PRDP-World Bank because of its vast experience in implementation rural development projects.

While I did not stay very long in the provincial capitol, I assured Gov. Mamba that I will be back in the third week of September for a series of consultations called “Tapatan: Gobyerno at Mamamayan” which would cover Cagayan Valley, Isabela and Kalinga.

Any thoughts? Leave your comments below!

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