The Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) together with Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) and Department of Agriculture IX inaugurated the concreting of 7.9-kilometer Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) at Barangay Biswangan Covered Court, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur today, July 7, 2021.
The said FMR, costing PhP 84,355,110 funded by DA-PRDP, will connect Barangays Biswangan and Gasa of Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur.
The Project and Key of Responsibility was turned over by Zamboanga del Sur PTF-ELCAC Chairperson Governor Victor J. Yu and Department of Agriculture Region IX Executive Director Rad Donn L. Cedeño.Hon. Virgilio R. Barbon, Sr., Biswangan Barangay Captain and Hon. Ronilo D. Antubo, Gasa Barangay Captain, expressed their gratitude for the said project.In addition, Gov. Yu his message stressed the importance of Farm-to-Market Roads.
“I have always said, we first build roads then everything else will follow.” Gov. Yu said.With a total of 2,381 household beneficiaries, the project served various commodities such as coconut, corn, rice, cassava, banana, mango, rubber, coffee, rootcrops, and vegetables.53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said that aside from improving the lives of the community, the project will also significantly empower the communites and totally cut off their ties with Communist-NPA Terrorists.
“This project will prevent the NPA’s recovery of their mass bases and deny them of community support in Barangays Biswangan, Gasa, and adjacent barangays. Surely, this project will sustain an insurgency free province.
“The Farm-to-market road will translate to the delivery of basic and government services to the far-flung barangays of Biswangan and Gasa such as health, education, and job opportunities, among others.
This activity is part of 53IB’s drive to pursue transformation to become a world-class Army that is a source of national pride by 2028 in line with the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR).