The Department of Agriculture (DA) is fast-tracking the construction of a P120-million farm-to-market road (FMR) project in La Union that will serve as model in Region 1 under the flagship rural development program.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the rehabilitation of the Balecbec-Basca farm-to-market road will be the first of its kind in the entire Ilocos region. It will be funded by the department’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
The existing road system connects to the junction of provincial road in Balecbec, Naguilian, La Union and ends at the junction of the same provincial road in Liquica, Caba, La Union. Once completed, it will directly benefit about 879 households in three municipalities of La Union.
Total funding for PRDP I-BUILD subproject is P117 million for the development of the 9.9-kilometer (km) Balecbec-Basca FMR and P10 million for the rehabilitation of the 13-linear-meter Balecbec bridge.
Originally, there were two FMR project t sites that were endorsed by the PPMIU for validation under the PRDP. Aside from the Balecbec-Basca FMR, the other proposed FMR was at Sitio Baratao, Brgy. Acao, in Bauang, La Union.
The proposed FMR will connect Brgy. Acao to the adjacent Brgy. Lower San Agustin.
These are the major producers of mango, peanut and vegetables in the municipality.
Most of the farmers opt to plant crops just enough for their families’ consumption due to the high cost of transportation and poor road network from the production area to the market.
“Hence, with the approval of the project under PRDP, the barangays considered as major agricultural area can certainly make a significant contribution in the agricultural development of the municipalities,” Alcala said.