USAid-funded trading center seen to boost Comval economy

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


THE newly-inaugurated P3.9-million trading center in the municipality of Compostela, Compostela Valley will help boost economic activity in the area.

The construction of the center was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) through the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (Gem)'s Typhoon Pablo disaster recovery assistance project.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg turned over the project to Compostela Valley Governor Arturo T. Uy and Compostela Mayor Lema P. Bolo during a ceremony at the trading building on Friday.

The trading center is composed of three buildings, one trading post and two market buildings. It is one of the 16 infrastructure projects the USAid has funded to assist in the rehabilitation of Pablo-stricken areas in Davao Region.

"Our grant for the infrastructure reconstruction is a gift from the American people, that will help stimulate economic growth and sustainable development," Goldberg said in his speech.

Carlos C. Tan, GEM program deputy chief, said among the three buildings of the center, the trading post was the first one requested by Compostela. It was endorsed by Governor Uy and was eventually approved by the US agency.

"It was realized that the post is still inadequate to restore economic activities because the typhoon left large parts of the market area that needs rehabilitation. Particularly for fish, fruits, and vegetable in order to fully restore normal economic activity," he said.

Tan said USAid approved the construction of two additional market buildings adjacent to the trading building. One was used for the meat and fish section, while the other for fruits and vegetables.

The center's ground breaking was held in June 2013 and was attended by USAid mission director Gloria D. Steele. It was completed on December 29, 2013.

"The new structure was designed with higher standards and wind load to make it sturdy and robust against strong weather conditions," Tan said.

In the press briefing, USAid said the new structure has an increased elevation to prevent it from floods and can withstand a wind for of 250 kilometers per hour (kph). The center also includes a toilet, office for the market master, and a drainage system.

Bolo said they have already awarded the stalls to 16 fish vendors, 16 meat vendors, and 28 vegetable vendors.

The vendors paid P3,000 for the occupancy and P700 per month for the maintenance and security of the center.

Fruit vendor Oracion Ferido told Sun.Star Davao that the new building has helped them a lot.

"Before the building was constructed we were disorganized in the market area but with the new buildings, we are more organized and also we can be sure that we will not be really affected by the flood," she said in the vernacular.

Aside from the trading center, Goldberg said they have provided help in restoring the livelihood of around a thousand farmers and some 1,300 fisherfolk.

"We conducted trainings on crop diversification and high value crops, aquaculture production, and disaster and watershed management," he said.

Other projects that have already been completed and turned over are: trading posts for Carmen, Poblacion-Baganga Market Building, and Aguinaldo, San Jose Suspension Footbridge; Overflow bridges in Sitio Mahayahay, Purok Duranta, Sitie Santel, and Ngan; barangay bridges in Lebanon-San Jose, Alegria, and Panag, and; the contruction and rehabilitation of Magangit-Batinao bridge, Mamunga bridge, and Poblacion Compostela bridge. (Sun.Star Davao)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 29, 2014.

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