MANILA - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P2.1 billion to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to pay for bridging materials and services to be used in the Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP) project.
Sourced from the 2014 budget of the Department of Public Works Highways (DPWH), the amount will pay Matiere SAS, a French company that supplied the DPWH with the materiel to be used for the construction, installation, and establishment of the girder-type universal bridges (unibridges).
The TPKP unibridges will connect agrarian reform communities and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)-covered areas and road networks to main markets nationwide under DAR’s Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) support services delivery component.
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said, “This release will jump-start the construction of these unibridges, so that we can link our farmers to commercial areas where they can sell their produce. The goal is to allow our farmers to become more active participants in the local economy, and ultimately, to expand the reach and development of the country’s agriculture industry.”
The DAR will be the executing agency for the TPKP project while the DPWH will be building the pre-fabricated modular steel bridges as supplied by the Matiere SAS-Eiffel Consortium. Of the 418 bridges to be constructed, DAR has already endorsed 287, of which 15 have been completed and one is undergoing construction.
“The Program Beneficiaries Development is an important component of DAR’s mandate to help achieve agrarian reform. At the same time, the infrastructure developed by the TPKP will help our agrarian reform beneficiaries as they make themselves more competitive in the agribusiness sector,” Abad said.
The DAR and the DPWH also agreed to replace the damaged Desamparados and Tultugan bridges beside the Bohol circumferential road. However, this is subject to the assessment that the replacement bridges will help develop agrarian reform communities and CARP-covered areas within the region.