Gov't spent P900-M for development projects in Sultan Kudarat
by Danilo E. Doguiles
Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat (18 February) -- In a period of three years, the government has spent about P900 million for development projects in the province of Sultan Kudarat resulting in increase in agricultural production, upgrade of farm-to-market roads, and protection of farmlands from flooding.
On the second day of her Agribusiness Mindanao legacy tour, President Arroyo visited Barangay Palumbe, Lambayong in this province where she talked with residents, mostly Ilocano migrants like her, about the impact of agricultural investments of the national government to the municipality and the province.
Talking in Ilocano to more than 300 villagers, she said, "I came here to celebrate all the good things that we have done for the progress of Lambayong, the entire Sultan Kudarat, and the entire Mindanao."
"I am very happy to see how government support has changed the lives of the people Sultan Kudarat," she added.
Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Mangudadatu told the President that about P900 million in agricultural investments and assistance have been released to the province from 2007 to 2010. This amount has been used in agribusiness ventures that include farming implements and upgrades, farm-to-market roads, and funding for the Mindanao River Basin Project.
Gov. Mangudadatu, in his report particularly thanked President Arroyo in behalf of the residents for a very quick response when Sultan Kudarat was affected by typhoon Frank in 2008.
"The president immediately sent P50 million for a dredging project that saved four thousand to six thousand hectares of farmland," Gov. Mangudadatu said.
Additional P150 million budget was allocated to the province for the upgrading of the Marcos road and repair of a bridge damaged by typhoon Frank.
"If not for the quick assistance, the municipality of Lambayong could have been erased from the map," he said.
"Almost P500 million have been allocated for bridge repair, road projects, and other infrastructure projects in Lambayong since 2008," he added.
He also expressed gratitude to the President for supporting other infrastructure projects in the province. Among those he mentioned were: the P230 million Palimbang-Kalamansig road, P70 million additional road projects for Lambayong, and concreting of the national highway leading to Senator Ninoy Aquino municipality.
Lambayong Mayor Ramon Abalos said that because of the President's support to the municipality, Lambayong now has the longest network of improved farm-to-market roads.
He said the infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Agrarian Reform in the municipality have upgraded their roads that resulted in easy movement of products from the barangays.
Also during her visit in Palumbe, Lambayong, President Arroyo inspected the facilities of Lambayong Grain Seed Producers' Multi-Purpose Cooperative, an organization of 25 farmers.
The cooperative maintains solar and flatbed dryers and produces its own seeds. It also makes organic fertilizer from its vermiculture project.
Department of Agriculture XII Director Tommy Ala said that 18 similar facilities have been installed in 18 cooperatives in Sultan Kudarat. (PIA 12) [top]