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News Feature: Better infrastructure support bring produce faster to marketJuly 31, 2012

By Alex A. Lumaque ROXAS CITY, Capiz, July 31 (PIA6) – Fisherman Percilito Alba is very excited. He had a good catch today after his grueling fishing on the “Tinagong Dagat.” From the wharf of Pres. Roxas town’s fishing community, he is planning to deliver his freshly caught seafood to the public market. Luckily, for this 50 year-old fisherman from Barangay Marita, his knowledge and training on the proper handling and packaging of seafood products enable him to reduce the spoilage of his produce. The newly constructed farm-to-market road particularly on the Avalo St. resulted in a faster delivery of his catch going to the market. The paved and concreted access road and parking space of the economic enterprise caused a smooth flow of vehicles, ensuring that fisherman’s seafood product will be sold fresh. The farmer’s good day’s catch was made possible through the initiative of the local government unit (LGU) in view of the Department of the Interior and Local government’s Retroactive Solutions and Leadership Approach. After receiving the “Seal of Good Housekeeping” last year, the town was entitled to the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) which was used on vital infrastructure projects. Pres. Roxas Mayor Raymund S. Locsin led the conduct of several consultative dialogues which led to the identification and realization of the projects. He also ensured the town’s needed counterpart for the cash grant. These projects included the improvement of the Resources and Services for Livelihood (RSL) Center to enhance its facilities so that it can cater to a more advanced training sessions and conferences. The direct beneficiaries of the project are the clients of the center consisting of fishpond operators, marginal fishermen, farmers and small entrepreneurs. The long-term beneficiaries are the unemployed who will be hired as a result of the opening of new enterprises, consumers and the community. The accumulated fund also paved the way for a Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) along old Avalo Street to give better access to farmers and fishermen who deliver their product to the market fast and fresh. The road was constructed way back in 1960 and serves as the primary road of the 6 coastal barangays of the municipality from the wharf going to the public market. The town’s public market is now more favorable to consumers and traders. It used to be muddy and unpaved. Traffic congestions during market days are now less and the vehicles are more organized because parking spaces have been maximized. Alba and his colleagues are thankful to the municipal government that their plights have been addressed. “We are now empowered,” is only how Alba quipped in Hiligaynon. Gone now are the days when fishermen’s good day’s catch are ruined for lack of infrastructure and technical support. Indeed, it was far more than helping them how to catch the fish. (JCM/AAL/PIA6 Capiz)

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