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In La Union, a new bridge will make it easier to move farm produce.

On June 21, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Ilocos regional office will launch a new bridge in Agoo, La Union province, the sixth project under the “Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo” (TPKP) program in the region.

DAR-Ilocos regional director Primo Lara said the bridge will benefit farmers and other residents in Barangays Sta. Rita, Sta. Monica, San Julian Norte, San Vicente Norte, and San Vicente Sur by easing their transportation of goods and produce as well as their commute during a virtual press conference hosted by the Philippine Information Agency-Ilocos regional office on Friday.

“It will make it easier for the beneficiaries or farm produce to go through.” It will bring people from different barangays together for jobs and recreation. This is especially important in places when one barangay has a surplus of raw supplies and another has an unemployed labor force. People and barangays may help one another in this way,” Lara explained.

The bridge is estimated to cut travel time by at least 10 to 15 minutes and reduce resident fares by PHP10.

“It will also make essential social services more accessible, as well as the opportunity to start a new business,” Lara added.

He said the bridge, which spans 34.2 linear meters and costs over PHP8.4 million to build, began on Jan. 15, 2021.

Other “Tulay ng Pangulo” projects opened earlier this year in Narvacan, Sta. Maria, and Sto. Domingo in Ilocos Sur, as well as Batac City and Burgos in Ilocos Norte.

In Ilocos Sur, another bridge is being built, and three more in Pangasinan are expected to open soon.

“Those in Pangasinan are in the towns of Dasol, Manaoag, and Binmaley,” stated Lara.

The entire region’s “Tulay ng Pangulo” initiatives are funded to the tune of PHP75 million.

“More local government units (LGUs) are still requesting the ‘Tulay ng Pangulo’ in their areas, but approval from the central office is required. “Most of these LGUs have flooding in their locations, which makes transporting the farmers’ produce problematic,” Lara explained.

TPKP intends to boost rural development in agrarian reform communities, increase production and revenue through lower marketing costs, and reduce poverty among ARBs and agrarian reform regions.

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