By Tara Yap
Iloilo City — The longest farm-to-market road in the Visayas has opened in Passi City, Iloilo province.
Department of Agriculture (DA-6) Regional Director Remelyn Recoter and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. formally opened Tuesday the 28-kilometer road that traverses 10 villages.
The road constructed under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), a joint project of DA and World Bank, is going to benefit 20,000 farmers and residents. It is seen to reduce travel time from two hours to only 30 minutes for both people and agricultural products from the farthest barangay to the city proper. It is also going to reduce transportation expenses.
Defensor, who played a pivotal role in securing funding, said the road is going to ease the decades-long hardship of farmers and residents in traveling. He said he knew their pain recalling how he was not able to visit far-flung Gemumua Agahon village in 2013 because the unpaved road was risky and dangerous.
The P272 million farm-to-market road was funded by the World Bank (P232M), the Iloilo provincial government (P32M) and the Passi City government (P8M).