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PIA Press Release

Maasin endorses Panaon settlement project to RDC-8

By Bong Pedalino

MAASIN CITY (29 November) -- A 568-hectare Panaon Settlement Project spearheaded by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was favorably endorsed by the Provincial Development Council (PDC) to its counterpart in the regional level, the Regional Development Council (RDC), during a PDC meeting today, November 29, at the RK Kangleon Function House, this city.

Mayor Celsa Estrella of Pintuyan town moved for the passage of the resolution, seconded by the PDC body, and said item would be taken up as a priority agenda for the December 4 RDC meeting, according to Gov. Rosette Lerias, PDC presiding Chair who also headed the RDC.

Once approved by the regional governing body, some P95.47 Million in development funds can be put to work for the proposed Panaon Settlement Project, said Engr. Silverio Gempeson, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO).

The money will be sourced from the national government and from the two leading agencies that would undertake the project, the DAR and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PARO Gempeson added.

In a presentation prior to the calling for a resolution, PARO Gempeson discussed some fine details of the DAR-initiated project.

He said the project covered six barangay from the municipality of Pintuyan -- Buenavista, Nueva Estrella Sur and Norte, Catbawan, Manglit, and Dan-an -- and five barangays from San Ricardo town, namely, Esperanza I and II, Pinut-an, Look, and Kinachawa.

The project is expected to benefit 284 farmer-beneficiaries comprising 1,522 households, with a total population of 8,417 people.

Among the general objectives of the project were to improve the quality of life for every farmer-settler, improve land tenure of the area, build a strong and viable organization, attain agricultural development, and provide basic services to the people living in the area.

The specific objectives included the eventual distribution of 568 hectares of land to the 284 farmers, the increase in the farmerís average annual income, from P18,000.00 per year to P 90,0000 by yearend, 2007, sustain the production of commercial crops, and construct 13 kilometers of farm-to-market road up to 2010. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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