By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
A P798-million bridge that would link agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in the provinces of Quezon and Aurora will soon be constructed.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, together with representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the construction of the 358-linear meter bridge which will connect Umiray, Quezon to Dingalan, Aurora and mainland Luzon.
De los Reyes said the bridge “will greatly help reduce the farmers’ cost of transportation as well as travel time in bringing their produce to trading centers and, at the same time, increase their income.”
DAR project manager Celerina Afable said that more than 30,000 people will benefit from the bridge, including some 13,000 farming families living in four agrarian reform communities, namely Umiray, Poblacion, Ibona and Matawe.
Majority of these communities, located in the eastern part of Quezon, are presently separated by the Umiray River from mainland Aurora and have been physically isolated from government’s basic services, especially during heavy rains, Afable said.
Ryutaro Kobayashi of JICA said the bridge will greatly benefit surrounding communities, especially the four ARCs.
“The construction of this bridge will change the lives of people here. The bridge will not only improve their living conditions, it will also open opportunities for economic growth and development of about 11,000 hectares of agricultural lands,” De los Reyes said.
The construction of Umiray bridge will start in December 2012 and will be finished by June 2014.