FOUR PROVINCIAL road projects with a combined P93.7 million budget were simultaneously launched Friday in Mt. Province under the Department of Interior and Local Government — Conditional Matching Grants to Provinces (DILG-CMGP). The road upgrading projects are in the following segments: Abatan-Bagnen, P24 million; Ampawilen-Sadanga, P24 million; Talubin- Can-eo, P24 million; and Guinzadan-Banao- Andanum P21.7 million, the provincial government said in a statement. Provincial Engineer Edward B. Likigan, in his message during the groundbreaking ceremony, said the projects are expected to be completed within a year. “2020 is a promising year because just as one road project is completed and turned-over to the beneficiaries, another four new road projects are again to be started.

The future completion of these DILG-funded projects will ensure development as it will allow improved commerce and tourism along affected areas,” he said.

Also on Friday, the Bagnen Coffee Satellite Buying Station in Bauko was formally opened. This is one of the four satellite stations, along with the Mountain Province Arabian Coffee Enterprise (MPACE) Consolidation and Trading Center, constructed through funding from the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP). The main trading center, opened last February 12, will be managed by the Besao Multi-Purpose Cooperative, the project’s main proponent. The P14.3-million MPACE is the province’s first sub-project under the PRDP’s Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP ) component. PRDP is a World Bank-funded program with the Department of Agriculture (DA) as lead implementing agency. DA-Cordillera Administrative Region head Cameron P. Odsey called on the PRDP beneficiary cooperatives to encourage their members to expand their coffee production, especially with the new support facilities available. “Presently, there is short supply of arabica coffee; thus the need for increased production,” Mr. Odsey said. There are also ongoing road projects in the province under the PRDP’s Intensified Build Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) component to improve access in far-flung areas. “It is expected that this enterprise will encourage our farmers to plant more coffee trees and to produce quality green beans that will demand a good or higher price thereby increasing our farmers’ income,” Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. said. — MSJ