“Let us hold hands together for development.”

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This was how Paracelis Mayor Marcos G. Ayangwa welcomed everyone during the turnover ceremony of the improved Poblacion-Bantay Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) held on November 8, 2019.

Funded and implemented under Philippine Rural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture (DA PRDP), the 3.19-kilometer FMR was the first infrastructure to be completed in Mountain Province under the PRDP.

“Without the unified efforts of the local government, the DA PRDP, and the contractor, we won’t be able to witness this kind of development which we are more than happy to accept,” added Ayangwa.

During the program, Provincial Engineer Edward B. Likigan narrated how the project went through PRDP’s approval process.

“This project went through a lot of consultations, countless geotagging, securing certifications from other agencies and other required documents, not to mention the stringent bidding process. It was originally proposed in 2014, approved in 2017, and completed this 2019,” said Likigan, adding that it is almost five years in the making, but finally completed.

DA-RFO-CAR Regional Executive Director and PRDP Project Director in CAR Cameron P. Odsey stressed how the PRDP is of great venue for the local governments to avail for infrastructure projects requiring with large funding.

“PRDP is a special project that has an end like any other foreign-funded project. However, there is an ongoing negotiation with the Philippine government through the DA and the World Bank for additional funding for this project so that more subprojects will be financed,” added Odsey.

He further added that CAR accounts for the largest amount of approved infrastructure projects in the cluster which includes Regions I, II, III, and CAR. However, the implementation and disbursement of these projects should be fast tracked for the additional financing to be granted.

Meanwhile, the residents of Paracelis are hopeful for more development projects to benefit their municipality. The chairs of the barangays covered by the road project committed to help in the maintenance and operation of the road within their capabilities.

“Dawatek ken idaulok iti kabarangayak ta protektaran mi jay part iti project nga ada idjay poblacion. Maragsakan kami nga talaga iti daytoy nga project, aramiden mi ti pagpatang mi tapnu iti dayta ket agnaynay nga mausar para iti tattao ti Paracelis (I will call and direct my fellow barangay constituents to protect the portion of the project at Poblacion, rest assured that we will do our part so that this will be maintained for the use of the people of Paracelis),” expressed Roy Gamonnac, chairman of barangay Poblacion, Paracelis.

Under the Infrastructure Development (I-BUILD) component of the PRDP, the improvement of Poblacion-Bantay FMR has a project cost of P41.07 million jointly funded by the World Bank (80 percent), the National Government through the DA (10 percent), and the provincial government (10 percent).

To date, Mountain Province has five approved infrastructure subprojects worth P218 million. For the Enterprise Development (I-REAP) component, the province has 15 approved enterprise subprojects amounting to P24 million and 6 are already completed.