NEGROS ORIENTAL, Sept. 13 (PIA) -- A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for a farm-to-market road (FMR) worth P380 million connecting barangays Hilaitan to Trinidad in Guihulngan City.
The 22-kilometer FMR or concreting of road will directly benefit at least 12,000 residents of the two barangays.
The road helps transport agricultural products from the hinterland barangays down to the Poblacion markets which is a huge concern of the farmers.
The road construction is a big support for the small farmers to bring their harvest down to the market that would greatly help in the pricing of their farm produce.
The road also intends to connect Guihulngan, Negros Oriental to Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, thus improving the delivery of basic services to remote areas affected by communist terrorists or the New People's Army, said Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 303IB.
While many barangay roads in Guihulngan are in bad condition or not accessible, with the result that agricultural produce is often rejected especially perishable commodities, there is a continued demand for more and better access roads or FMR.
With this, the city government of Guihulngan has put more efforts in setting aside millions of funds for the road concreting and construction of multi-purpose buildings in the initial 10 barangays.
However, Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan "Guido" Reyes lamented that some of the lot owners refused to sign a deed of donation as a requisite for the road construction.
"There's a possibility that katung taga pikas o mga NPAs migiit nila na dili mopirma. They probably don't want the roads to be concreted because it will be easy for the police and the Army to access their area, and that is the reason why there was a delay in concreting the roads in the barangays," said Guido.
The mayor recounted how a contractor from Bacolod City for a road construction reported that their heavy equipment was set on fire.
"That is why we are having a hard time implementing our projects here," he lamented.
With the creation of the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOT-ELCAC), government agencies have prioritized and harmonized the delivery of basic services in conflict-ridden areas to improve the quality of life in conflict areas with communist rebels.
Gov. Roel Degamo led the groundbreaking ceremony with Vice Mayor Ernesto Reyes of Guihulngan, Arevalo, and Negros Oriental Provincial Police Director Police Colonel Rizalito Gapas. (jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)