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๐๐ซ๐ข๐๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐†๐š๐ฉ: ๐๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐“๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐š๐œ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ

๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘–๐‘š ๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ ๐‘‘๐‘– ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ (Planting is not easy). This famous Filipino folk song depicts the genuine struggle of a farmer in planting rice without the luxury of time to sit or stand under the scorching sun. While the song carries a catchy or fun tune, the lyrics do not discount the physical hardship farmers go through just to provide rice, fruits or vegetables for the community.

Indeed, the arduous tasks of farmers never end after a long day of work in the field or a much-awaited bountiful harvest. In reality, some farmers also face the problem of the lack of quality roads which may impede the seamless and swift transportation of their agricultural goods.

๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐— ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜†
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. recently disclosed that his administration achieved more than half or 51 percent of the total target of farm-to-market roads (FMR) under the Build, Better, More program. This equates to 131,410.66 kilometers of FMRs across the country which can aid in maintaining food security, and increasing the income of farmers.

Among the completed projects is the 500-meter section of a FMR at barangay Mapandan in Mayantoc, Tarlac that was implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Tarlac 1st District Engineering Office.

The P14.55-million project includes the installation of wheel guards on both sides to ensure the safety and convenience of farmers and motorists passing through. Funded under the General Appropriations Act of 2023, it is part of the DPWH convergence program with the Department of Agriculture.

๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ท๐‘’๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘ƒ๐‘ข๐‘๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘Š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐ป๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ๐‘  ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘๐‘™๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ 500-๐‘š๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘Ž ๐‘“๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘š-๐‘ก๐‘œ-๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘ก ๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘”๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ ๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘, ๐‘‡๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘. (DPWH)

Such development can be considered as a game-changer not only for motorists but also for farmers in the area as this would mean improved mobility of their products, reduced transportation costs, and more profit for them.

Farmer Ronnie Arenzana looked back on the difficulty of transporting their agricultural products due to poor road conditions, especially during the rainy season.

โ€œNoong bago ito umpisahan, talagang hindi maganda ang daan namin. Lubak-lubak na talaga. Mahirap lalo na kapag umuulan. Pinagtitiyagaan na lang namin. Ngayon, yung bagong daan ay talagang malaking ginhawa sa mga katulad namin dito na dumadaan. (Before it was developed, our road was not really good. It was hollow and bumpy. It was very hard, especially when it was raining. We beared with it. Now, the newly-developed road is such a relief to us.),โ€ Arenzana said.

๐— ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ-๐˜๐—ผ-๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ฅ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—”๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ
With the political will of the government to construct more accessible and quality roads, more thoroughfares that link farmers and consumers can be expected in the near future.

DPWH Tarlac 1st District Engineer Neil Farala explained that the new road in Mayantoc town improves transportation of agricultural products such as rice, and minimizes logistics and transport costs which leads to more opportunities for the community, and growth of the local economy.

In accordance with the goal of the administration to complete its target, Farala vowed that the DPWH will remain steadfast in building more quality roads and infrastructure for Filipinos.

โ€œOur office will remain committed to improving rural roads to enhance the productivity of the agricultural sector and increase the local economy,โ€ he added.

One paved road can change the life of many people, and can bring numerous positive impacts to their health, livelihood and community. One paved road can increase agricultural productivity, and promote sustainability. Sometimes, all it takes is a road that will bridge the gap, and lead us to brighter destinations. (PIA 3 / Trixie Joy B. Manalili)

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