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In an apparent show of support, hundreds of rural constituents and local government officials gathered during the much –awaited Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Rehabilitation and Improvement of Brgy. Mahayahay – Brgy. Manalog Farm –to-Market Road project on February 19, 2016 at Brgy. Mahayag, Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte.

In his message, Gov. Roger G. Mercado of Southern Leyte said, “This is one dream made real. I thought we will never reach this far. At least, our sacrifices paid off. Of course, this will not be possible if not for the Department of Agriculture helping us all the way.”

He pointed out, “Now, we expect more areas to be developed because of the new road. In few years, along with the rise in economic activities here, we expect improvement also in the living condition of our farmers.”

For his part, DA-8’s Regional Executive Director and concurrent PRDP Regional Project Director Leo P. Caneda disclosed, “Southern Leyte has the biggest projects funded under the PRDP in the entire region and, perhaps even ranks among the highest PRDP funded projects throughout the country.”

This FMR project, once completed, will link the municipalities of Saint Bernard and Hinunangan, the province’s top rice-producing areas. Apart from rice, other major agricultural products in these municipalities include coconut, banana, abaca, root crops and vegetables.

This is Region 8’s second PRDP funded road project to be implemented following a similar sub -project in Sogod, Southern Leyte which was started on August, 2015. This FMR has a total length of 16.58 kilometers costing P182,738,305. It shall cover nine barangays with a total of 2,118 households.

RED Caneda mentioned that the said road project would be very beneficial to the residents in transporting farm products to the town market. It will contribute to increasing the farmers’ income. He recalls, “Southern Leyte, once upon a time, ranks among those with highest poverty incidence but in just few years, it was able to turnaround the situation. This time, the province has the lowest poverty incidence in the region. This simply indicates how the local leadership works hard to address the situation.

In an interview, Ms Evangeline Q. Eguna, President of the Mahayag Women’s Association in Saint Bernard pointed out that the project will help particularly in terms of the marketing of their rootcrop products. Foremost, the project will result in reduced travel time, lower transport cost and, will bring better marketing options for the farmers with the two municipalities that will be connected by a good road network.

The activity was participated in by Cong. Damian G. Mercado, some personnel from the provincial government of Southern Leyte headed by Gov. Roger G. Mercado, Mayor Napoleon L. Cuaton of Saint Bernard, and Mayor Romeo M. Gomez of Hinunangan. Also present were key personnel from the Regional Project Coordination Office -8, Regional Deputy Project Director Jenny Lyn R. Almeria and DA RFO 8’s Project Director Leo P. Caneda, PSO Visayas Deputy Project Director Cirilo Namoc together with Project Director Roy Abaya.

RODEL G. MACAPAÑAS, Information Officer I, InfoACE


LEO P. CAÑEDA, CESO III, Regional Executive Director/Regional Deputy Project Director