President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to prioritize farm-to-market road (FMR) projects to make sure that initiatives remain on track with the Farm-to-Market Roads National Plan (FMRNP).

The President led a sectoral meeting on the updates on the implementation of the said national plan, where he emphhasized the need to prioritize projects based on utility and development aspect.

“We’ll have to assess it in terms of need. Where do we need the roads most? For example, roads that are heavily used that are not in good condition pero andaming dumadaan na produkto ay ayusin natin,” the chief executive said during a sectoral meeting on Tuesday in Malacañang.

President Marcos also told DA officials to coordinate with other concerned agencies to identify areas for development and construction of FMRs to ensure smooth flow of goods and services.

“We have to be in coordination with other departments as to where are the areas na gusto nating pagandahin, na gusto natin we will start planting high-value crops on this area, for example, Kailangan lagyan natin ng FMR yan kasi gusto talaga nating pagandahin,” he said. 

He also noted that the rehabilitation and repair of FMRs that were damaged by flood and other natural disasters should also be considered.

As of October 2022, the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies have completed a total of 67,255.46 km of FMR projects, 51% of the 131,410.66 km target. This is necessary to service 14 million hectares of the country’s production areas for agriculture and fisheries.

A total of 64,155.20 km of FMRs have yet to be completed, requiring an investment cost of P962.325 billion. Of these, there are only 46,937.1 km of proposed FMR projects from the local government units (LGUs), as of 01 August 2023. | PND