By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
September 6, 2017
JAVIER, Leyte – With the road leading to Barangay Guindapunan now concreted, residents here can already eat fresh fish and avail of the various government services.
This was the testimony of Barangay Councilor Elizabeth Mendoza as she thanked the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Mayor Leonardo Javier Jr. for concreting the Odiong-Guindapunan road.
Guindapunan is situated on top of Mount Mairig, some seven kilometers away from the town proper in this fourth class municipality. Residents here used to ride in a horse as their mode of transportation in the past as the place has steep slopes, sharp curves and dangerous for other kinds of vehicles especially on rainy days.
But with the said road now concreted, this village is already accessible to all kinds of vehicles. Hauling of farmers’ products is easier now and a lot of opportunities were opened to residents here, said Simplicio Bahinti.
ARCP-II National Project Manager Jean Fornoles disclosed that in 2010 Mayor Javier was among the first and very few mayors who invested in the second phase of the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP-II) when DAR introduced it.
According to her, many mayors turned down the offer for they found the share of the LGU in the total project cost too big that they cannot afford to finance. But Mayor Javier thought otherwise, Fornoles added.
Under ARCP-II, for a fourth class municipality, the national government will provide only 40 percent of the project cost through a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), while the LGU will shoulder the remaining 60 percent.
Fornoles further disclosed that Javier did not only commit to provide equity to one farm-to market road but wanted six road projects, a road opening and five road concreting, with an aggregate project cost of P84.5-million.
The concreting of the 2.64-kilometer Odiong-Guindapunan road was the second project completed and was turned over recently by DAR Assistant Regional Director Ma. Fe Malinao representing Regional Director Atty. Sheila Enciso who was then out of the region.
The remaining four other road projects are expected to be completed before the year ends.
During the said occasion Malinao reminded the LGU and the recipient villages to maintain the road in good condition within 10 years otherwise they will also be shouldering the 40 percent share of the national government thereby converting the grant into a loan.
In acceptance, Vice Mayor Michael Dragon Javier in behalf of the mayor, as the latter was recuperating after undergoing a kidney transplant, thanked DAR for the assistance and assured “we will take care of this wonderful gift”.
In his message, he confirmed the stories of Mendoza and Bahinti as he himself witnessed how hard life was in this area which resulted to the mayor (his father) seeking the assistance of DAR through its Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) as there are 1,437 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) here.
Meanwhile, Chief of the PBD Division Melecia Ong explained that the six road projects are also part of DAR’s commitment to the Regional Convergence Initiative (RCI) with the Departments of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, and Interior and Local Government wherein this town was chosen as the pilot area in Eastern Visayas.