Friday Sep, 25 2020 09:20:52 PM

DAR turns over “Tulay ng Pangulo” project in Sultan Kudarat

Local News • 10:15 AM Thu Aug 13, 2020
Kathleen Pagayon/DAR Sultan Kudarat
Turnover of documents by DARRO XII RD Marion Y. Abella, to Mayor Plotena of the municipality of Esperanza, SK, the ribbon cutting and the bridge. (DAR-SK photos)

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat - “We make it happen.”

These were the words of Rodolfo T. Alburo, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR Sultan Kudarat).

Alburo made the remark as DAR-SK turned over a newly-built steel bridge with concrete pavement to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries of Kaunlaran sa Nayong Agraryo (KaSaNAg) Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) Cluster in Barangay Villamor, Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

The project is under the Tulay ng Pangulo Para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP) Project, in response to farmers’ request to provide them with easier way to cross the river in transporting their agricultural products to the nearest market.

“Construction of the 28.8-meter length by 7-meter width, two-way, Villamor I Bridge costing P7.98 million started last January 6, 2020 and was finished by July 17, 2020,” said Alburo.

He added that the materials for the bridge was supplied by the French Government through the French construction firm Matiere SAS, and will benefit farmers in the area, as well as adjacent farming communities who previously had to traverse thin, uneven, wooden boards, connected to form a rickety make-shift bridge just to bring their farm products to the public market.

During the inauguration ceremony and memorandum of agreement signing held on-site, Mayor Charles Frederic Ploteña of Esperanza gratefully expressed his thanks to DAR and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as he accepted the turnover documents from DAR XII Regional Director Engr. Marion Y. Abella.

Ploteña said he was pleased for DAR and other government agencies for heeding to the call of the farmers to build a bridge over Laguilayan River-Creek that can withstand typhoons and flash floods.

The bridge also pave the way for farmers to immediately transport their products like fruits and vegetables to the market with minimal or no damage at all to fragile and perishable farm products.

Director Abella also thanked the local government unit for coordinating with DAR in order to smoothen the implementation of the TPKP project.

He also thanked DPWH and its engineers for the sturdy and well-built construction and implementation of the bridge, including the construction of a 17.5-meter connecting concrete pavement on both ends of the bridge, and for finishing the project in such a short period, despite the threat of the Covid19 pandemic.

The TPKP project, formerly called the President’s Bridge Program, is a zero-based budgeting approach by the government, funded by the France, monitored by DAR and implemented by DPWH Unified Project Management Office- Bridge Management Cluster.

The said project is based on the criteria that it must be implemented in an Agrarian Reform Community, no existing roads on both sides, must have a distance of 28 linear meter from bank to bank, must be implemented in a municipal road, and that only 2 TPKP project site exist per congressional district.

"Before, most farmers and residents who had to deliver their corn or vegetables to the market had a hard time crossing the river because it only had a wooden bridge built from slabs of wood that were pieced together. It was dangerous too," said Gabriel Domingo, an agrarian reform program beneficiary and village chair. 

"We had to carry big bundles of corn on our back because the habal-habal can't pass through if heavily burdened. Most of us do not have 4-wheeled vehicles to transport our products so we just hire habal-habal." 

Domingo said what worries him was when emergency strikes and patients could not easily pass through the wooden bridge for fear of falling into the river.

"Our prayers were answered because a steel bridge is here. Now, it takes us little time to go to the hospital to seek medical attention. It also hastened transport of our products to the nearby market, and we did not have to risk wading in the river's currents because now, we can safely pass over the river using the new bridge," Domingo added. 

"That's why we are very thankful to the DAR and the government for turning this dream into a reality; for making things happen," Domingo said.


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