MATI CITY, Davao Oriental - In her fervent desire to address the province’s poverty incidence, Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon talked with the operators of the province’s heavy and light equipment, urging them to perform their best in implementing the province’s Oplan Kalsada Program.
Primarily involving massive road repair and rehabilitation, the Oplan Kalsada Program is one of the Governor’s anti-poverty initiatives supporting the province’s agriculture and tourism sectors.
Considering agriculture and tourism’s potential to uplift the lives of the small farmers living in the hinterland sitios, the Governor pointed out the urgent need to rehabilitate the roads “that are now in a desperately poor state”.
Governor Malanyaon appealed to the heavy and light equipment operators to do their job not just out of compliance, but to take it as their contribution to helping the poor farmers and residents in the remote barangays who are in desperate need of income to support their families.
“Kabalo ta sa sitwasyon sa karon, lisod jud ang panginabuhian sa katawhan. Dagha’y pobre sa ato. Daghan gayud ang naga-lisod, hilabina pagkatapos sa pandemya. Dili nato tanan matubag ang problema pero kinahanglan nato mahatagan ug katubagan kung unsa ang nakapalisod gyud sa katawhan sa atong probinsya (We know the current situation; people are experiencing difficulty in their livelihoods. Many are poor. Many are experiencing financial hardships, especially after the pandemic. We cannot address all problems but we need to attend to the root causes of the people’s hardships,” said Governor Malanyaon.
The Governor stressed, “no matter how hard farmers strive to work on their farms, they will still remain poor if there are no decent roads.”
“Ang pinaka-importante gayud na makalihok-lihok sila. Makadala sila sa ilang mga produkto gikan sa ilang mga gitamnan nga mga yuta paingon sa sentro, paingon sa buyer. Mao nga importante ang kalsada (The objective is to help farmers mobilize. To allow them to transport their produce from their farms to the town proper where the buyers are. That is how important roads are),” said Governor Malanyaon, noting that there are still many villages in the province enduring poor road conditions.
The province currently has eight sets of heavy equipment: a bulldozer, grader, backhoe, loader, dump truck, and road roller. These sets and three additional sets of rented equipment to be handled by a team of operators will be deployed to each of the ten municipalities and one city within the month.
Governor Malanyaon stressed the need to fast-track the road repair to take advantage of the dry season.
Meanwhile, Governor Malanyaon has also offered incentives to the operators to further motivate them to work. Aside from their monthly salary, each will receive a P3,000 subsidy and provisions such as rice, food packs, and petty cash for meals and other operational expenses.
Additional incentives and rewards will also be given to teams who will complete their work earlier than scheduled and those who efficiently use resources such as fuel.
On the other hand, Governor Malanyaon explained that not only the farmers will benefit from the road rehabilitation program but everyone in the province who needs the food that the farmers produce. She noted that the lack of supply in the market contributes to the high prices of farm commodities.
“Kung dili ayos ang kalsada, daghan maapektohan. Wala ta’y pagkaon. Mataas ang presyo, magkulang ang suplay. Ug ultimo sa pagdala sa mga masakiton man lamang sa kabukiran padulog sa lungsod maglisod pa (If the roads are not fixed, everyone gets affected. We will not have food. Prices will increase, we have a lack of supplies. And even transporting sick people from the hinterland to the town will be difficult),” the Governor said.
Realizing the Governor’s determination and sincerity to improve the people’s lives, the operators committed to actively taking their part in the province’s development thrust to uplift the people’s lives and ultimately defeat poverty. (Karen Lou Deloso, PIO | Photos by Mark Oliver Alvite )