KANANGA, Leyte- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) formally turned over on June 11 the concreted 3.8 kilometer farm-to-market road in Barangay Masarayao to the Kananga municipal government. DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso, the project, which connects to the national highway extending up to sitio Toril, is the second project implemented under the second phase of the Agrarian Reform Community Project (ARCP-2) turned over by her office for the LGU’s maintenance. The first one was the farm-to market road in Javier which was turned over last year. With a total project cost of P21.2-million, 30 percent of the project or P6.3-million was loaned from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), while 45 percent of which equivalent to P9.5-million came from the LGU as the latter’s equity. The 25 percent or P5.3-million was shouldered by the Office of President thru the National Government Assistance to LGUs (NGALGU).

Mayor Elmer Codilla reminisced in his acceptance message how their municipality nearly missed this project due to the very high equity asked from them. Originally, the LGU was supposed to shoulder the 70 percent of the project cost. But thanked to NGALGU, their share was reduced, Codilla narrated Meanwhile, barangay chairwoman Clarita Cuizon said in her message that hauling of their products for trading has become easier now that their road has been concreted. Transportation cost likewise was lessened, Cuizon added. According to her, fare from the center of their barangay to Ormoc City, where their products, mostly pineapple, are sold was reduced by P20.

Before, when the road was not concreted yet, they paid a fare of P60 for a distance of 19 kilometers, Cuizon narrated. Now that public utility jeeps (PUJ) ply the area, the P60 fare was reduced to P40, she added. Some 2,711 residents in the area, where 737 are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) according to Leyte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Melecia Ong, are expected to benefit directly from this project. Residents from the interior barangays of Ormoc also prefer to pass by this route as they find it more comfortable traveling through this concreted road. Director Enciso said that there are 81 approved infrastructure projects being implemented under ARCP-2 within the 44 agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in 46 municipalities in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar that are believed to augment agricultural production as well as increase household income of the farmers particularly the ARBs in these areas. (JOSE ALSMITH L.SORIA/PR)