By | February 21, 2017

Fresh agricultural products from remotest barangays of Leon and Alimodian, Iloilo could be transported faster to the market with the construction of an agri-tourism circumferential road connecting the two municipalities in southern Iloilo.

The P160 million project initiated by Iloilo 2nd District Congressman Arcadio H. Gorriceta comprises of road concreting and construction of bridges which will connect the scenic Bucari area to the “7 cities” of Alimodian.

“This will the lift the economic life of people in this remotest barangays of Leon and Alimodian. It is one, if not the most important project in my terms as congressman,” said Gorriceta.

The road will complete the 58-km circumferential road that will connect Brgys. Bobon and Bulwang, the two farthest barangays of Leon to the 7-cities which pertain to the seven remotest barangays of Alimodian: Cabacanan Rizal, Lico, Umingan, Dao, Manasa, Cabacanan Proper, and Tabug.

Brgy. Bucari in Leon is now an established eco-tourism destination while the “7 cities” found in the mountainous area of Alimodian are famous for their cool climate, lush vegetation, timberland, an assortment of wildlife and plants such as wild berries and fruits, caves, waterfalls and rice terraces.

It is considered as “Salad Bowl” of Iloilo as high-value vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers grow abundantly, hence, this agri-tourism development will bring opportunities especially to vegetable growers and farmers.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Office VI is currently implementing the construction/concreting of access road from Jct. National Road in Brgy. Bucari to Brgy. Camandag in Leon which leads to Imoy Falls, one of the tourist destinations in the said town.

Other tourist attractions in the area are: Tinagong Danao, Agua Colonia, Umingan Plateau, Ibagat Spring, Farm Terraces, Maslog Falls, Bato Dungok and Oyang Cave.

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According to Assistant Regional Director Jose Al V. Fruto, the project involves concreting of 2.880 kilometers road and 146.15 meters approaches with 6.70-meter wide Portland Concrete Cement Pavement (PCCP), including excavation, embankment, reinforced concrete pipe culvert, masonry ditch line, slope protection, chevron signs, kilometer post, metal guardrails and pavement markings.

The project also includes concreting of 1.281 kilometers access road leading to Kataw Fallls and 137.2-meter access road leading to Imoy Falls, both roads with slope protection, metal guardrails and concrete pipe culverts.

Fruto added that other than concreting of roads, the project involves construction of two (2) 36-meter Flat Slab bridge, two (2) 27-meter Footbridge and one (1) 37-meter hanging Footbridge; construction of triple barrel box culverts with painted railings; and construction of two (2) units comfort rooms.

Mr. Mariano Quinot, a Department of Agriculture (DA)-accredited vegetable grower and vendor and a resident of Alimodian, said in an interview that the project would be a big help for farmers like him in the faster and easier transportation of their products, that will eventually make more income for them.

DA Assistant Secretary for the Visayas Hansel O. Didulo who has visited the area twice since he assumed post, expressed his utmost support to the project and assured the local chief executives of his assistance to programs that will benefit the farmers in the area.

​Considering that Pres. Rody Duterte expressed support for bigger funding for the Department of Agriculture beginning 2018, farm mechanization as well as post harvest facilities, completion of the 3,500-kilometer farm to market road network in identified areas, and the establishment of big and small irrigation projects, especially the Solar-Powered Irrigation System have become among Sec. Manny Piñol’s priority areas for funding and development.

​Given these ​recent development in the farm-to-market roads in their respective areas, Alimodian Mayor Geefre Alonsabe and Leon Mayor Ronilo Cajilig propose the construction of cold-storage facilities and abattoirs in their municipalities considering that both towns have their own ​Bagsakan Centers and dynamic livestock markets.

With the completion of the circumferential road, all these remote barangays are made more accessible not only to merchandisers interested in the local produce and livestock but to tourists seeking the best that the area has to offer as well.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at Km. 49, Brgy. Bucari, Leon, Iloilo on January 31, 2017. [With reports from DA-6, DPWH-6]

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