EDERLINA Plantigue of Barangay Dalicanan, Passi City recalled that when she was studying in high school, they have to pass the mountain as a shortcut route to school in the city proper.
The road leading to the city was unpaved and impassable then, especially when it rains and there is no vehicle servicing the barangay.
“We even bring extra clothes during rainy season. Sometimes, we would ride on trucks delivering sugarcane. That’s how hard it was for us before this road was concreted,” she said.
Plantique is now 73 years old and finally enjoying the ease of traveling to the city proper following the concreting of the 28-kilometer Imbang Grande-Tagubong-Gemumua Agahon-Agtabo Provincial Road.
Plantique was all smiles as Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and officials of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP)-Western Visayas led the inauguration and turnover of the completed road worth P272 million on May 7.
The road section is the biggest PRDP-funded project in Western Visayas, according to DA-Western Visayas Executive Director Remelyn Recoter.
PRDP is a DA project funded by World Bank.
The project will benefit 10 barangays with nearly 20,000 residents. These are the barangays of Imbang Grande, Talongonan, Jaguimitan, Salngan, Alimono, Magdungao, Tagubong, Agtabo, Dalicanan, and Gemumua Agahon.
Of the total project cost, the Defensor administration gave a counterpart of P32 million, while the Municipal Government of Passi allotted P8 million.
Recoter said the project is expected to reduce transportation expense as travel time to the city proper was reduced from two hours to 30 minutes.
Defensor said he could attest to the plight of the residents as he experienced the hardship of reaching Barangay Gemumua Agahon when he ran for re-election in 2013. Accompanied by his wife, Cosette Defensor, they failed to reach the barangay due to poor road condition.
“And so in 2014, when I received a notice that the province is a recipient of a farm-to-market road rehabilitation project from WB, I immediately thought of Gemumua Agahon and listed it as the number one recipient,” he said.
The governor clarified that there is no politics behind his decision because he understands that the project is badly needed by the residents.
Other completed PRDP-funded projects in Iloilo include the 10.289-kilometer Poblacion-Tacuyong Norte Provincial Road in Leon worth P114.8 million and the 7.89-kilometer Parara-Jamog Provincial Road in Tigbauan worth P87 million. (PR)