By Mike Crismundo
Coffee farmers in the far-flung villages of Tagbina town in Surigao del Sur will no longer have a difficult time transporting their harvest as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) laid the groundwork for a P30.9-million road concreting project.
DAR 13 spokesperson Joie L. Ceballos told the Manila Bulletin Saturday that the project will benefit coffee farmers of Mabuhay and Kahayagan areas.
Top regional officials led by DAR 13 regional director Engr. Felix B. Aguhob and local government officials led by Tagbina Mayor Generoso Naraiso were present at the February 6 ground-breaking ceremony held in Barangay Kahayagan in this town.
Aguhob said the concreting of the 4.67-kilometer road is financed under the DAR Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Development (ConVERGE), which is jointly funded by the Philippine government represented by DAR and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
“This road project is expected to aid the value-chain process of the coffee products in Tagbina,” he added.
The groundbreaking for the Extension of Level II Potable Water System in Sitio Mabuhay was also held on the same day.
Naraiso thanked the DAR on behalf of the people of Tagbina. “Out of 19 municipalities in Surigao del Sur, it is our Tagbina that is blessed to have this road and water project,” he said in his message.
According to Aguhob, the water system project is helpful in the production and processing cycle of the coffee.
“Let us work together so that these projects will help realize the dreams of Tagbina coffee farmers for a better quality of life,” Surigao Sur PARPO II Benjamin Mataksil said in his message.
Arlyn Ruiz, chairwoman of the Kahayagan Water System Sanitation Association (KAWASA) said the water project would be a great help, not only in their livelihood but more so with their day-to-day living.
She said they would have enough time to attend to their children and their livelihood now that household chores are made easier by the water supply project.
Seventy households in addition to the existing 300 households would benefit from the P2-million water expansion project.