Once a dusky and bumpy eight-hour ride traverses the road before you reach the villages has transformed into a two-hour journey that means easing the burden for most farmers and residents in the remotest villages in Solana and Amulung, Cagayan.
Their burden of transporting goods and accessing essential services are things of the past.
The construction of Iraga- Bayabat Farm to Market Road, a 20.25 km road access, eased the transportation woes they have experienced for years.
Velaria S. Maguddayao, Pacac Pequeño, the village chief, recalls that when she leaves for Tuguegarao City, the provinces’ capital, at 6:30 a.m., the travel time will last for two and a half hours.
“Fare is expensive. It increases as well during rainy season because of the difficulty of transportation due to muddy road,” she said.
Maguddayao, a farmer, also said middlemen dictated the price of their agricultural produce, and they have no way of negotiating because instead, they argue that transportation is costly.
Leonardo Sotero, a farmer from Bayabat, Amulung, compares the logistics before when the road has not been built.
“The situation changed when the FMR is in full operation. Our produce are now easy to travel to markets and we saw it in our own eyes the benefits to the people of Amulung,” he added.
The construction and rehabilitation of the Iraga-Bayabat FMR and bridges started on March 28, 2017. It is now in its whole operation servicing 10,000 hectares of agricultural land and 1,000 hectares of a residential area within its road influence area (RIA).
With the funding support of the World Bank under the counter-parting scheme through the government of the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) and the Provincial Local Government Unit of Cagayan, a PHP 198 M has allotted to complete the said project.
Two years later, the now 100 % complete Iraga-Bayabat FMR and bridges has rated a good standing rating from Fair during its second Operation and Maintenance Audit spearheaded by the Regional Operation and Maintenance Audit Team of the DA Regional Field Office No. 02 on March 4, 2021.
The barangay officials said that the roads indeed served their purpose. At the same time, the residents agree that it helped the community connect easily. The farmers who benefit from the said project are grateful for the gift of road that leads to rural development.
Farmers like Sotero and Maguddayao, who have been farming for years, the project is for the farmers and the locals who manage to establish their small businesses as the roads have started to help them reach the market.
A total of 27 barangays are located within the road influence area of the FMR. These are Iraga in Solana; Abolo, Aggurit, Alitungtung, Annabucalan, Annafatan, Baccuit, Balauini, Bauan, Bayabat, Calintaan, Caratacat, Casingsingan Norte, Casingsingan Sur, Cordova, Dafunganay, Goran, Logung, Masical, Nangalasuan, Nanuccuan, Pacac Grande, Pacac Pequeño, Palacu, Palayag, Tana and Unag in Amulung, Cagayan. # # # (DA-RFO II, PRDP)
‘Be good role models’ – Odsey tells new promotees and appointees
Government employees should always maintain certain integrity that speaks of service to the people, this was how the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey pointed out the importance of real service to the 17 newly promoted and appointed employees of the Regional Agricultural Department.
Odsey reiterated that by doing one’s job to his or her best ability and as government officers, the public is assured of civil servants from the Department of Agriculture that would provide such service to its constituents.
“Public service is a public trust, all of us entered the government service because we want to serve the public and we were not entitled to these positions but we were selected because of merit and competence. We were special because we are here to serve which should always be our primary daily goal and public service is precisely serving the people,” Odsey said.
The 17 newly appointed and promoted personnel of DA-CAR come from the Integrated Laboratories Division, Research Division, Field Operations Division, Regulatory Division, and the Administrative and Finance Division.
Dir. Odsey emphasized that the new promotees and appointees were selected in their positions according to their merit and competence. The applicants have undergone the thorough selection and promotion process being undertaken by the Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (HRMPSB) chaired by Regional Technical Director for Operations Danilo P. Daguio.
Further, the appointing authority has discretion in the appointing processes provided that it meets the standards set by the department in terms of appointment as prescribed by law.
“So I tell all of you that you were able to get your positions because you deserve it.
Therefore the biggest challenge to all is to act it, to show that you deserve the position as you have been selected because you were the best for the position which is why this should be shown in your jobs and the way you perform starting today, you should be role models set the example of how to be a leader especially if you occupy senior positions,” Odsey added.
The Regional Executive Director also reminds the newly appointed civil servants and all employees of DA-CAR the virtue of honesty as a guide not only in their lives in the government but also in their private lives, he concluded.//Mr. Jonathan Llanes, DA-SAAD-CAR Regional Information Officer # # # (DA-RFO CAR, RAFIS)
Women’s resilience, leadership skills highlighted in forum with CALABARZON AgriWomen
CALABARZON – Women’s resilience and capabilities to lead in male-dominated sectors were highlighted in the “AgriTalk 2021: Agriwomen in Agricultural Development in CALABARZON” online forum.
During the activity, four women leaders in the region recounted and shared their experiences in successfully navigating their way into the fields of agricultural research and extension, farm enterprise, and leadership and governance.
Cavite State University Extension Director Almira Magcawas was one the speakers and talked about the innate strength and capabilities of women to tackle challenges particularly as researchers and extensionists.
“As a woman, we have our own strength and abilities that we can use to serve others who are in need,” she said as she shared her study focusing on the role of social entrepreneurship in the development of farming communities to the viewers online.
Meanwhile, Noriko Usui, Farm Manager of Cortijo de Palsabangon, an accredited School for Practical Agriculture of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in CALABARZON, underscored the importance of being a hands-on leader.
“To lessen the judgment and gain the trust and confidence of your community, be a hands-on leader,” she stated.
In terms of leadership and governance, Officer-in-Charge, Regional Executive Director Vilma Dimaculangan, of the Department of Agriculture in CALABARZON, and Municipal Agriculturist Adelia Poblete, of Silang, Cavite, emphasized the need for women to constantly be proactive in all the areas of community-building.
Poblete advised all women in agriculture to “be assertive and be part of the decision-making.”
“Always take part in the economic, political, social, and cultural development of the country,” Dimaculangan, meanwhile, stressed.
This online event was organized by the ATI Regional Training Center in CALABARZON, as part of the Center’s culmination of this year’s International Women’s Month. It was also made in collaboration with Agriculture Magazine and supported by the Manila Bulletin and Smart Communities.
This was livestreamed through the ATI CALABARZON and Agriculture Magazine Facebook pages last March 26. # # # (Marianne Antonio / DA-ATI)
Photo caption: The “AgriTalk 2021: Agriwomen in Agricultural Development in CALABARZON” features women leaders in agri research and extension, farm enterprise, and leadership and governance. (DA-ATI)