PINUKPUK, Kalinga: A waiver on road right-of-way claims is expected to pave the way for construction of a P197.6-million farm-to-market (FMR) road project here under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
Gov. Jocel Baac said six village chairmen of Catabbogan, Wagud, Malagnat, Ammacian, Taggay and Sakpil have already signed the waiver.
He explained that a “no claim policy” on road-right-of-way is one of the strict conditions imposed by the World Bank that funds the project.
World Bank-funded projects in the province have been delayed because residents allegedly dispute titles to lands where roads are supposed to be constructed, thus preventing entry of contractors.
Baac cited the proposed 13.3 kilometers of a farm-to-market road in the province that took almost two years to be approved.
“There were no contractors interested to bid for the project because of difficulty in meeting PRDP project standards,” Baac said.
“This time, we had to call on officials and people of the project’s host villages to throw their full support behind the project by not making any single claim to portions of their property that will be affected,” he added.
The new farm-to-market road is expected to be completed within 510 working days.
“This project will provide market access to the upland barangay [villages]that are top producers of coffee, banana, corn and coconut,” Baac said.
He added that the village chiefs’ waiver has facilitated the issuance by Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Regional Director Lorenzo Caranguian of a “No Objection Letter-2” to the province that gave the green light to the project.
The province of Kalinga is the second highest recipient of the PRDP in the country and the highest in the Cordillera with about P500 million worth of ongoing FMR projects.