The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) MIMAROPA’s I-BUILD component conducted a final inspection of two subprojects recently.
Set to benefit around 2,500 farmers in Marinduque, the subprojects that underwent a final inspection on June 10 are the Marinduque Arrowroot Production and Processing subproject, and the Improvement/Upgrading of the Pantayin-Jolo-Napo Farm-to-Market Road (FMR), said the office in a press statement.
The Marinduque Arrowroot Production and Processing, with a total project cost of P8.4 million, is a small enterprise upgrading subproject that aims to support the livelihood of the 50 farmer members of the Bahi Agricultural and Fisheries Association (BAFA) in the Municipality of Gasan, Marinduque.
BAFA Chairman Wilfredo Nazareno admitted that the pandemic greatly affected their manpower and production. With the safety restrictions, they were forced to cut down on production and shipping to other provinces. However, with the completion of the Arrowroot Processing Center, Nazareno shared that they are more determined to get back on their feet.
“Kapag naging normal ang sitwasyon, makikita po naming yung progress kasi lahat po ng mga magsasaka ay papalakihin pa nila ang kanilang binubukid. Lalakas ang aming pasok ng raw materials. Lalakas po ang aming sales. At makakatulong po talaga ng higit na marami sa mga residente ng barangay namin at lalo’t higit din po sa lalawigan,” Chairman Nazareno said.
(Once the situation gets better, we hope to see progress [in our enterprise] in the form of an increase in the production of raw materials and an increase in sales. We hope to be able to help residents in our barangay and our province)
Nazareno also expressed his sincerest gratitude on behalf of his organization to the people behind the enterprise assistance.
“Sa mga nag-sponsor po ng program na ito, lalo’t higit sa World Bank at PRDP, maraming maraming salamat po. Kami po yung grupo na inyong tinulungan para mai-angat at para lalo higit na mabigyan ng hanapbuhay ang mga Marinduqueño. Lalo’t higit makilala sa arrow root starch at arrowroot cookies,” Nazareno expressed.
(We are grateful to those who sponsored this program, most especially to the World Bank and DA-PRDP. You helped us tremendously by providing us Marinduqueños with a source of livelihood, and to be recognized for our arrowroot starch and arrowroot cookies).
On the other hand, the Improvement/Upgrading of Pantayin-Jolo-Napo subproject is a 4.3-kilometer FMR covering three barangays in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque. The FMR aims to support 2,438 residents in 410 households by providing a safe, convenient, and cost-effective road for the project beneficiaries.
Barangay Pantayin Barangay Chairman Roberto Esplana revealed that the travel time from their barangay to the highway has been cut down from three hours to only an hour. He also shared and expressed his gratitude for the benefits of the FMR to their coconut farmers.
“Noong wala pa po yung farm to market road, talagang pinapahila po sa kalabaw hanggang makarating dito sa highway kasi walang daan papunta roon. Salamat po sa PRDP at nagkaroon ng magandang kalsada, at sobrang dami na pong nakikinabang,” Chairman Esplana mentioned.
(Before we had the farm-to-market road, we had to haul our produce with a carabao due to the poor road condition. This is why we’d like to thank PRDP for the access road where a lot of people benefit from.) (Danica A. Brutas, DA-PRDP MIMAROPA RPCO InfoACE Unit)