COMPOSTELA, Compostela Valley -- US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg on Friday led the ceremonial turning-over of market buildings to Compostela Valley Governor Arturo T. Uy and Compostela Mayor Lema P. Bolo today.

The buildings, constructed with funding from the US Embassy Manila's United States Agency for International Development (USAid), replace the old structures that were destroyed by Typhoon Pablo in 2012.

The P5.83 million, three-building project will serve as the center of trade and commerce for about 23,000 residents, farmers and fisherfolk.

Goldberg, together with USAid/Philippines mission director Gloria D. Steele, also inspected the Poblacion Compostela Bridge.

USAid funding provided to the local government also helped repair the bridge, which is expected to benefit nearly 14,000 residents from four barangays and provide long-term economic benefits by facilitating safer and easier access to goods and services. The municipal government of Compostela will be responsible for implementing recommended environmental measures and maintaining the structural integrity and beneficial use of the facilities.

While touring the newly-constructed market buildings, Ambassador Goldberg met with several vegetable and fish farmers who received technical assistance from USAID to help restore their livelihood following Typhoon Pablo. And students of Compostela Central Elementary School and Compostela National High School welcomed the US delegation earlier in the day.

"It was an opportunity for us to thank the U.S. Government, through the Ambassador, for their huge support in terms of infrastructure, livelihood and education assistance to our province, even before Typhoon Pablo and most especially thereafter," Uy said.

In the aftermath of the storm, the US government through USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, and under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), implemented a P201 million multi-component disaster-recovery program in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. In addition to 16 vital infrastructure projects that were designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, the support included education packages that benefited 25,000 students and 680 teachers in 30 schools, livelihood assistance to 2,000 farmers and fisherfolk, and disaster preparedness capacity building support.

"We are pleased with the continuing support of the U.S. Government to Mindanao, which over the years has evolved into a partnership covering a broad range of cooperation particularly in conflict-affected communities, whose progress and transformation is central to President Aquino’s peace and development agenda," said Minda Chair Luwalhati R. Antonino.