Lawmaker: Coastal roads will benefit farmers, fisherfolk

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The planned construction of coastal roads here will benefit Kapampangan farmers and fisherfolk, said Ricardo Yabut, chairman of the Provincial Board Committee on Public Works.
Yabut, a congressional aspirant in 2013, said Monday that the produce of farmers and fishermen could be directly transported to Metro Manila and other southern markets once the coastal roads that would traverse the Pampanga towns from Calumpit, Bulacan are realized.
The planned construction of coastal roads has been prioritized by the Central Luzon Regional Development Council’s Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development.
“The coastal roads which are part of our development plans would greatly help in transporting the produce of our fourth district farmers and fishermen. Currently, because of the lack of direct road links to Metro Manila and southern markets, their farm produce and seafood — about 80 percent — are just brought to Hagonoy [Bulacan]. They could not really command a good price for the products since they have to pass through middlemen,” he said.
Yabut said that with the coastal roads and the parallel development of the Pampanga Delta 3 River Project, farmers and fisherfolk, especially those in the fourth district towns of Macabebe, Masantol and Minalin, including the second district municipalities of Sasmuan and Lubao, are assured of growth from higher sales and profits.
“Not only would travel time be cut by at least two hours from the point of origin, but our cabalen farmers and fishermen could be assured of higher profits as development would be spurred by these coastal roads. As chairman of the committee on public works, I would definitely push for the construction of these coastal roads through appropriate legislation,” he said.
Yabut added that the construction of coastal roads is within reach as already, the construction of a national government and foreign institution funded bridge is going on.
“The P175-million bridge in Masantol linking seven coastal barangays is going on. This will greatly provide access to people there once it is finished and construction of coastal roads starts. Hopefully, both will be finished in our term or when I am in Congress already so we could extend more support to these projects,” he said. (JTD)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 06, 2012.

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