P33-M Quality Farm-to-Market Road up in Basey Settlement area
About 2,070 young and old men and women of the interior barangays of Cancaiyas, Cogon and Villa Aurora in Basey, Samar – areas which are part of the 19,893-hectare Samar Settlement Project – are now counting the days to that day when they will be enjoying for the first time of their life the use of an all-weather road. Not just that. A high quality, durable road. A road unlike any previous others. Built according to the government’s highest expectations. The barrio folks are also looking that way.
In mid-morning last October 23, 2012, a few of them (but mostly officials of barangay Cogon) witnessed the ground breaking ceremony for the start of the 5.947-kilometer construction of the Cogon-Cancaiyas-Villa Aurora farm-to-market road. Just after the early sign of tropical storm Ofel manifested its sure arrival with its punctuated swooping gust and pummelling shower, the time capsule for the project was lowered and allowed to settle inside the hole in the muddy ground right at the entrance of the proposed road at Cogon. That was the cue that the infrastructure project would be ready to hit the ground.
There for that occasion were the top honorable officials of the town of Basey – lawyer-mayor Igmedio Junji E. Ponferrada and most supportive sangguniang bayan members Ramon Lancanan, Tito Delovino, Ernesto “Nonoy” Jadloc (who is seeking the vice-mayoralty post for the first time), Delma Quilitano, Marilyn Maranga Homeres, and Joquint Orejola, as well as ABC president Aludia Duran. There, too, were the other town officials, like municipal planning and development officer Manuel Orejola and his staff, and municipal engineer Cesar Wong.
OIC-PARO I Bernardino A. Bacurio of the Department of Agrarian Reform Samar provincial office graced the ceremony in behalf of national coordinator Homer Tobias of the Agrarian Reform Communities Project II, DAR regional director Eleasim Castillo and assistant regional director for operation Reynaldo Villas, and OIC-provincial agrarian reform officer II Pax M. Rojas of DAR-Samar. He was accompanied by other DAR ARCP II designees, particularly assistant project manager-acting chief agrarian reform program officer for support services Segundino Pagliawan, rural infrastructures specialist engineer II Joel Abaloyan, community driven development specialist-human resource management officer Libby Lobiano, development facilitator-agrarian reform program technologist Rustie P. Macariola and the Basey municipal agrarian reform officer.
The FMR is an ARCP II sub-project which consists of the construction of a 6-meter wide all-weather road with sufficient drainage facilities, and the construction of RCBC. With a sub-project cost of P32,339,144.81, it is designed to be finished by April 13, 2013 by contractor B. Vicencio Construction which was represented in the ground breaking program by Engr. Alvin Tirado.
According to the tarpaulin signboard for the project, the FMR is assisted by the National Government to Local Government Units (NGA-LGU) Office of the President, and the Development Bank of the Philippines.
In his message, Bacurio also pointed out that the contractor should ensure that locally available labor be taken in other than its own workers being brought in. He said the FMR project which is supposed to start cuts across three barangays within the Samar Settlement Project and will eventually be beneficial not only to the people in these villages but also in nearby barangays. He urged everyone, including farmers in the locality, to cooperate, especially that monitoring of every stage of the project is expected to yield positive results.
After all, this is what the people in the three barangays wanted to hear, according to the thankful punong barangay Mario Ciata who led his delegations from Cancaiyas. He gave his response to Bacurio’s challenge. Similarly expressing high hopes on the project’s benefits was SB member Lancanan. PB Clarita Quilitano of the host barangay, Cogon, had, in her welcome address, taken the opportunity to thank mayor Junji and the DAR for finally opening this road that will make travel and transport of products easier between Villa Aurora, or Cancaiyas, and Cogon. Well, QN says here, the completion of this latest project will finally complete the original circumferential INFRES road project concept. The INFRES road was begun in the previous local administration.
(Villa Aurora officials failed to attend the event. QN was informed that the PB of Villa Aurora and some of her trusted leaders had been summoned earlier to a meeting somewhere else with Samar second district congresswoman Milagrosa Tee Tan. In that meeting were other village chiefs who are also beholden to the congresswoman.)
Mayor Ponferrada, in his closing message, thanked Samar first district representative Mel Senen Sarmiento. According to him, it was Rep. Sarmiento who called him personally, telling him to submit all the documents needed for the ARCP II, hence the birth of this farm-to-market road. He also thanked the DAR officials for helping the Basey LGU in realizing this project.
The 2,070 population of Cancaiyas, Cogon and Villa Aurora is equivalent to 4.73 per cent only of the whole population (43,809, circa year 2000) of Basey. These villages have a combined total of 419 households which represents 4.65 of the town’s total number of households (9,013) and make up an aggregate total area of 1,453.107 hectares (2,3% of the town’s total area of 63,340 has.) In the Settlement area alone, the territorial portion that is within Basey (the other part being in Sta. Rita town) conjures up a total of 5,643.574 hectares (for the barangay areas of Balante, Baloog, Bulao, Cancaiyas, Cogon, Dolongan, Mabini, Manlilinab, Old San Agustin, and Villa Aurora), and a total human population of 8,627 living in 1,835 households.
“The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice. The truth of any knowledge or theory is determined not by subjective feelings, but by objective results in social practice. Only social practice can be the criterion of truth. The standpoint of practice is the primary and basic standpoint in the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge. ” – Mao Tse Tung
By: Chito Dela Torre
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