Rehabilitation of a farm-to-market road in Barangay Bahay, San Miguel, Leyte starts after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) held groundbreaking activities on January 26 this year. (JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA)

SAN MIGUEL, Leyte – With funds having been downloaded already by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), rehabilitation of the farm-to-market road (FMR) in a remote village in this town starts following the groundbreaking rites on Friday, January 26 this year.

This project, which include the concreting of the 1.950 linear-kilometer road and the construction of a box culvert-type bridge in Barangay Bahay, has a budget allocation of P34-million taken from the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF).

It will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and is expected to be completed in 162 days or by June this year, before the onset of the rainy season.

DAR Eastern Visayas Assistant Regional Director for Administration and Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), Ismael Aya-ay, together with District Engineer Mark Anthony Alejo of the DPWH Leyte First Engineering District and Ramil Janaban, representative of Mayor Norman Sabdao, led the groundbreaking activities held at the project site.

Aya-ay said that an FMR is the beginning of the progress of a certain area. Thus, production in this area is expected to increase once this project is completed, he added.
With 264 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) residing here, Aya-ay directed Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Leah Sacan to submit a proposal to declare this area into an agrarian reform community (ARC) for them to be able to avail of the various support services extended by the DAR.

“Once this area becomes an ARC, you will be exposed to various trainings for greater production,” Aya-ay told the ARBs who were present during the said occasion.

He stressed, “We will teach our ARBs to be entrepreneurs for a better quality of life.”
Meanwhile, Alejo said, “This infrastructure project is a collaborative effort between DAR and the DPWH not just to uplift this town but the entire regional plan.”

According to Barangay Chairman Jessie Asis, as he expressed gratitude to the two government agencies, “Residents here, most of them are farmers, had long been longing for a better road as they find it hard to transport their products. At the moment, one pays P40 fare to motorcycles plying the area for every sack of rice being brought to the town proper.”

The moment this road is completed, four-wheel vehicles can already penetrate here and lessen their expenses in transporting goods, Asis explained.

He further disclosed that more than 1,700 residents in the area will be directly benefited by this project.