P170.3-M farm-to-market road to benefit 5,000 Batac households

LAOAG CITY  – At least eight villages composed of more than 5,000 households will benefit from the ongoing rehabilitation of a farm-to-market road in Rayuray village, Batac City.

Worth PhP170.3 million and funded by World Bank in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and Ilocos Norte government under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the Billoca-San Juan farm-to-market road is the second largest infrastructure project here in Region 1. Eight bridges are also included in the package.

These are the entry and exit points of commuters from the interior barangays of Nagbacalan, Baoa West and Camandingan in Batac City.

Farmers and traders also pass this route particularly in Barangay San Juan that connects Batac City to Sarrat town.

Residents like Noli Lacambra of Camandingan said he is grateful for the project that is composed of five packages as it would certainly improve their way of life.

We harvest mangoes and vegetables in our farms. But due to the poor road condition which decreases the quality of our harvest during transport, we only get low market price for our products, Lacambra said, citing that even their school children experience difficulty in going to school during rainy season because of the sad state of their bridges that get submerged in water during heavy rains.

Last September 8, residents were elated as authorities finally broke ground for the project that includes a 12.24-kilometer farm-to-market road and the upgrading and expansion of Sta. Cruz de Noto bridge, Bulilising, Caoayan, Rayuray, Camandingan, San Pedro and Pandan.

The Taylan Construction and Development is set to complete the project next year.

Once finished, it is expected that the transportation cost will be reduced by 20 percent, travel time by 60 percent, increase people and product traffic by 60 percent and reduce transport losses of fresh products by at least 10 percent. PNA-northboundasia.com