Two residents of Barangay Matanglad, Pio Duran, Albay had paid a visit in my humble abode this afternoon. We exchanged cordial pleasantries until a conversation centered on the implemented infrastructure programs – on irrigation and farm to market road in Barangay Matanglad.
On the farm-to-market road connecting Matanglad to the Pio Duran – Ligao road and eventually to the town proper, my two visitors made mention that it was turned-over incomplete to the officials without informing the villagers.
Another serious topic was about the irrigation project. My sources admitted that the irrigation project is a total failure to farmers productivity and to their livelihood opportunity to boost their primary source of income.
There is an irrigation canal but without a sustainable water that will irrigate the rice paddies. In short, the project was a disappointment to the village farmers and to the residents of Matanglad.
I asked the basic questions on information, consultation and participatory planning on the farm-to-market road and the irrigation project. My sources categorically said – THERE WERE NONE.
This situation of domestic drudgery the rice farmers of Matanglad who till their rice fields will be tied and condemned to menial chores that will test their patience and resiliency to wait for the rainy seasons before they can till and plant rice every cropping season.
Tilling farmland without access to irrigation is drudgery and a reduction to their productivity and could spell poor income in their village and to their family.
Pondering to the gross ignorance of the state agency planners in skipping the cherished process of consultation and participatory planning is disappointing.
The practice of transparency and participatory in introducing development projects in the far-flung villages such as Matanglad, has been a forgotten norm and will always end in financial fatigue on the part of the bureaucracy because of the arrogance of state planners to ask people’s participation and decision-making policies.
Their bureaucratic condescension is poignant and this overbearing has tied the farmers and the agricultural sector to underdevelopment and poverty.
Their abject poverty has converted the rural poor passive and unconsulted thereby losing their entitlement to the project.
That is why the dreamlessness in this countryside makes my homeland one of the suppliers of manual workers who incessantly flock to urban centers in search for a sustainable livelihood because their farmland has been dreamless because of bureaucratic condescension.
This column is asking the local Chief Executive of Pio Duran: Mayor Allan R. Arandia, who the hell implemented this projects out there?
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