Palace P 5.3 B rural roads project, a farm to pocket roads project,
The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday said the P 5.3 billion rural roads project of the Macapagal-Arroyo government is more of a farm-to-pocket roads project, rather than a genuine development blue print to arrest the current economic and financial crisis.
“The government will exploit the most-abused financial escapade “farm-to-market roads project” to pursue its farm-to-pocket roads project at the expense of the Filipino taxpaying public,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.
“The people of this country are suffering from extreme economic and political crisis. But this government solution to the crisis is to build roads identical to President Diosdado Macapagal-Boulevard to ensure fat kickbacks. The regime of greed must be buried six feet under,” the Pamalakaya leader said.
Hicap said high crime of corruption is the real agenda of Malacañang in pursuing the 2,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads nationwide. “What roads will the government build this time? Roads to perdition? Roads to destruction? Or roads to hell? Or all of the above?” the Pamalakaya leader added.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the projects, which will start this week, would benefit 212,000 farmers in food-producing and hunger-prone areas, and would create 53,000 new jobs this year.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Cabinet coordinator for the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) in Northern Luzon and Bohol said more than half of the total length of the farm-to-market-roads would be built in Central Philippines and the Mindanao super region where major food production sites are located.
In a statement sent to media, Secretary Yap said the national government under CLEEP will build 567.6 kilometers of roads will be built in Central Philippines and are expected to benefit 56,760 workers and create 14,190 new jobs, while 536.94 kilometers of roads in Mindanao will benefit 53,694 hectares of farmers and will employ 13,294 workers.
The North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, where Secretary Yap was designated by the President as its development coordinator will have 420.8 kilometers of farm-to-market roads which the DA said will benefit 42,080 farmers and will require 10,520 jobs, while 366.8 kilometers of farm-to-market roads will be constructed in the Metro Manila Urban Railway, which include Central Luzon to help 36,680 farmers and create 9,170 jobs.
Yap said another 230.8 kilometers of farm-to-market roads which will benefit 23,080 farmers and will provide 5,770 fresh jobs will be constructed in other priority areas identified by the national government.
But Pamalakaya said the P 53.B rural roads project of Malacañang wants to accomplish several objectives like corruption for pro-Arroyo officials in different branches of government and local government units, and at the same time, an early electoral campaign for Palace favored bets in 2010 national and local elections, that’s why the projects are placed in vote-rich regions and provinces all over the country. #