The Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project Scale-up (CHARMP2 SU) commended the local government unit (LGU) of Benguet for being the first province in the Cordillera to complete its approved 18 rural infrastructure subprojects for 2018 implementation during the regional inter-agency steering committee (RISC) meeting on May 30, 2019 in Baguio City.
Project Manager and DA-CAR OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey recognized the active participation and good working relationship of all involved stakeholders particularly the LGUs in order to accomplish the targeted projects as soon as possible despite some challenges in implementation.
“There is close coordination, collaboration, and active participation and support from the communities and LGUs. We see to it that the projects are implemented in a participatory manner,” added Engr. Mary Ann Fianza, Project’s Benguet Provincial Supervisor. “It is participatory in a sense that whatever issues, concerns or challenges, every stakeholder contributes and recommends something to provide a better result.”
The 18 infrastructure projects are composed of nine farm-to-market roads, one communal irrigation system, two footbridges, five footpaths, and one multi-purpose drying pavement with a total amount of PhP71.5 Million, of which 10% is provided by the partner LGUs. The projects are distributed in the three-covered rural barangays in the province namely Bagu, Bakun; Pongayan, Kapangan, and Pappa, Sablan. To date, 13 projects have been inaugurated and turned-over to the concerned LGUs and barangays for operation and maintenance.
Implementation of the said projects started in September 2018 with barangay Pongayan as the first barangay to undergo the ground breaking and pre-construction conference for its five infrastructure projects. All infrastructure projects were completed by March 2019.
Initial outcomes of the completed projects were already felt and experienced by the community beneficiaries, particularly on the farm-to-market access projects. These outcomes such as safer road access and shorter travel time were shared by the beneficiaries during the ceremonial turn-over of completed projects in their barangays.
Dir. Odsey assured that the LGUs were very helpful in facilitating the rural infrastructure projects. He encouraged them to continue their good partnerships as well as to assist the barangays in sustaining their turned-over projects so that it can benefit the intended agricultural communities for a long time.
Benguet will be implementing three multi-purpose warehouses this year amounting to Php7 Million. Two projects have already undergone the procurement process and awaiting the ‘go’ signal of the Project Support Office while the remaining one project for Barangay Pappa is for rebidding due to failure in the first bidding.
The CHARMP2 SU is additional two-year financing (2018-2019) implemented under the Department of Agriculture with the International Fund for Agricultural Development as the main funding agency.
By Janice B. Agrifino