DA-XI’s P800 M farm-to-market road to be downloaded to DPWH

The farm-to-market roads (FRMs) that the Department of Agriculture-XI would be implementing this year carry a budget of P800 million while the FMR’s specifications standard is scaled up as part of the agency’s climate change adaptation.

DA-Regional Field Unit-XI assistant regional director Dr. Rafael Mercado, DVM bared in an interview that that the P800-million budget though would be “downloaded” to the Department of Public Works and Highways-XI which will implement FMR projects including the bidding process, breaking the agency’s tradition since seven years ago where FMR projects were under DA’s exclusive prerogative.

“Before, local government units in the region proposed and then we made verification, evaluation and recommendation either to bid FMR project or give it to an LGU which implemented the project by administration,” he said.

He said that the decision to download DA’s FMR projects was reached by DA’s national officials, noting of the DPWH’s technical capability and manpower.

The department will now be in charge of the monitoring, Mercado said.

DA-XI has a total of P2.045 billion budget for the projects, programs and services for 2014, of which P800 million is allocated for FMR projects for Davao Region. Last year it has only P1.8 billion .

Dr. Mercado also bared that as part of DA’s climate change adaptation, the specifications standard of FMR to be implemented across the country would now be: 5 meters in width and 8 inches in thickness, with 1.5-meter extension in both sides of the shoulder.

DA’s FMR standard before is: 4 meters in width and 6 inches in thickness, with 1.5-meter extension in both sides of the shoulder.

“Madalas na ang ulan. It’s not mere mitigation, but adaptation to climate change already,” Mercado said. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte) 

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