CALBAYOG CITY-Farm-to-market roads (FMRs) constructed from the fund allotted by the Department of Agriculture paved the way for the concreting of FMR in Barangays Imelda through Bana-o to Avelino located in the municipality of Sta. Margarita, Samar with a total allocation of P50 million.
A concreted road which spans 900 meters is constructed on most part of Brgy. Imelda. The rest is an opening with a length of 1.780 kilometers. With a width of 5.3 meters, a riprap was also infused in the project to avoid collapse of structure and protect soil from erosion since the structure is located in the mountains.
Copra, rice, banana, corn and other root crops such as taro, cassava and sweet potato are products that are usually being delivered to the local markets in Calbayog City from the said barangays.
Residents and farmers alike, who are living in Brgys. Imelda, Bana-o and Avelino would have to walk for 3-4 hours on foot on a footpath to reach Brgy. Napuro and from there, they will need to ride a motor vehicle to reach the city proper for another 30 minutes.
Income is strenuous for farmers since they need to bribe someone depending on the product that they are selling aside from the fare that they pay for the motor vehicle from Napuro to the city proper.
A resident and farmer of Brgy. Bana-ao, DayDay Tolibat have these to say:“Amon la ginkakarga amon produkto pareho san saging o kopra sa amon kalugaringon na lawas tapos mano-mano la ngadto sa dalan tapos pag abot namon sa Napuro, ginsasakay na namon ngadto sa Calbayog. Tikang sa Bana-o maglalakat kami sa Napuro tapos sa Napuro karga na namon tikadto sa Calbayog na. Naglalakat kami danay upat ka oras, naabot lima, danay tulo liwat depende la san imo kalakat ngadto. Wara pa dida an tikang sa Napuro tikadto sa Calbayog. (We carry our own products in our backs like bananas or copra and trudge the footpath to Barangay Napuro, then we load it on a motor vehicle that passes the said barangay to the city proper. We walk for four hours, sometimes five or three depending on our pace, excluding the time-travel from Barangay Napuro to the city proper.)
A resident and barangay chairman of Imelda attested saying, “mahirap talaga noon na hindi pa kalsada ang aming barangay dahil sa mga produkto na lang na aming dinadala papunta sa car line dahil upland itong aming lugar, mahirap talaga. Kung mayroon kaming produktong copra na dinadala namin sa Napuro, galing dito, ang pagdala, binubuhat lang ng tao at yan ay kada sako binigbyan ng suhol ng seven pesos kada kilo o five pesos depende sa presyo ng kopra. Kaya sobrang hirap na wala pang kalsada noon”. (When the road is non-existent, it is so hard for us to deliver our goods to where motor vehicles are available because we come from an upland. If we have products to send to the market, we need to go walk on foot and load it on a make-shift basket carried at the back to Barangay Napuro and bribe them with seven or five pesos per kilo depending on the price of copra. That is why it is hard when there is no road.)
With the completion of this farm-to-market road, farmers’ income is much better since travel of their goods are directly delivered to the public markets. Travel time was reduced from 15-10 minutes to Barangay Napuro where they can get hold of vehicles to Calbayog City.
Farmers won’t have to bribe just to get their products to the local markets since public transportations can now reach their barangays because of the completed roads.
Furthermore, health issues such as problems in carrying their sick or those who are pregnant, can now be transported to the nearest hospitals immediately unlike before that that they have to carry them and travel on foot for hours.
“Pag-abot naman san mga may sakit amon la iton ginkakarga ngadto kay wara man natukad ngadi sa amon nga ma check-up. Tapos kun may mga burod, nanganganak, amon iton gnbababa liwat, lakat na liwat. Pag abot sa Napuro mao na masakay ngadto sa Calbayog.Pero yana madali na kay didi na la masakay deretso na an byahe kay may ada na man sarakyan”, said Mr Tolibat. (when it comes to those who are sick and pregnant, we carry them in our backs since no one can come here for check-ups. But now, it is easier since any vehicle can now reach our place.)
In the communities where the primary source of livelihood is farming, the concrete road is a welcome respite from the inconvenience of travelling to the Poblacion and back, and able to get their produce to the market cheaper and faster.
Farmers have better opportunities ahead of them now. Basic infrastructure paves the way for a future that holds an abundance of promise, heightened productivity and accessibility.(GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO,PIO-Designate)