Thursday, September 16, 2010

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Ill Equipped Project
The concerned office like the District Engineer of the DPWH Aklan has the duty to obtain compliance of the contractors in the construction of roads in some barangays of Libacao.

According to my trusted informant, the contractors are ill equipped to construct the volume of work in the total amount of P472 million in four barangays in Libacao. The report revealed the following equipment are seen in the construction sites: a) two backhoes, b) one pay loader, c) four dump trucks and d) one stake truck.

With the available engineering equipment, a practicing civil engineer believes the above stated equipment are inadequate to open new roads, and improve existing roads with the environmental conditions prevailing in the construction areas.

In Dit-ana river which is 90 meters wide, a box culvert of 30 meters long was placed at the top of the river bed. Gravel was used to fill both approaches with riprap which is now starting to deteriorate.

On the basis of the present condition, and when long and heavy rain comes, gravel placed at both approaches will be eroded, water will overflow and damage crops and property along both banks of the Dit-ana river.

In Loctuga river, the same is done. A 30 meters box culvert was placed on the middle of the 100 meters wide river on top of the river bed, filled both approaches with gravel and riprap. It is now on its deterioration stage. It is also predicted that water will overflow and damage crops and property at both sides of the river banks.

In Manika, a 70 meters wide river was placed on its river bed a 30 meters long box culvert with gravel filled at both approaches. It will not take long when heavy and continuous rain comes, water will overflow and damage crops and property in both sides of the river banks.

Public Safety

Perhaps, Mayor Charito Navarosa can request Engr. Cabigas to inspect the public engineering constructions to assure the projects are really done, and public safety is assured.

Barangays Rosal, Loctuga, Manika, and Oyang are almost 23 kilometers away upstream of Poblacion, Libacao with about 6,000 people. The projects to open new roads and to improve existing roads are about six (6) kilometers. Why spend the almost P.5 billion for it? Who made the project feasibility study? Who justified its implemen-tation? When is the return of investment? And who is/are getting its ROI?

This P472 million being spent in the up stream of Libacao could have been well spent for the cementing or asphalting of the remaining Banga – Libacao gravel road. It will be in accordance with the principle of "the greatest good for the greatest number".

The completion of the cementing of the Banga-Libacao road will be happiness for all Libacao-nons, other Aklnons and other people traveling on the Banga-Libacao road.

But this is sometimes the case of some Filipino leaders with skewed priorities. They approve the construction of bridges in places devoid of rivers. After the bridge construction, they construct rivers under bridges.

In Iloilo, leaders constructed a very modern international airport. But after its construction, thank God international flights neither land nor take off. What a waste of scarce resource. Money is not only scarce, it is loaned.

The Filipino leaders borrowed money for use as dole outs like the 4Ps. This is only in the Philippines. No government in the world borrows money for distribution to their peasants. They only borrow for capital investment.

This 4Ps project that will promote mendicancy. Majority of the 4Ps beneficiaries will not attempt to earn their bread but wait for the dole out. This is probably one of the reasons why some NGOs seek accreditation so as to be in a priority list for public assistance.

Nava: Plant Fruit Trees

In Guimaras, the provincial government is urging fisher folks to plant fruit- bearing trees and crops as alternative source of income.

Guimaras Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava suggestsfor the planting of fruit bearing trees like cashew, papaya and jack fruit. Nava believes "fisher folks and seaside communities must start planting these trees in their backyards as an alternative source of income during poor fishing seasons. These fruit bearing trees could grow a lot longer compared to the instant catch and market brought by fishing."

"It could add to their income when the fruits mature and sold to the market as there are high demands for these fruits anytime."

The provincial agriculture office and the Department of Agriculture (DA) must help these fisher folks how to grow their trees, as well as plant the best type suited for their soil. The farmers coordinate with these offices for free technical assistance. Guimaras is not all mangoes. It has the soil and climate for other fruit trees, too. A good example is the success of cashew industry which is currently being marketed outside the country.

The Guimaras provincial government is bullish in the promotion of land-based agriculture and livelihood among predominantly sea and fishing-dependent communities. /MP

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