News and UpdatesIn the NewsTamlang to be CV growth area

Tamlang to be CV growth area

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The Tamlang Valley Sustainable Agriculture for Growth & Resiliency Project is expected be implemented this year with an initial budget of over P1.4 billion.

The budget will be taken from the general fund of the regional line government agencies involved in the project.

Tamlang Valley encompasses the shared borders of the towns of Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Valencia, and Sibulan in Negros Oriental.

It was once known as “no man’s land” at the height of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army insurgency in the late 1980s up to the early 1990s

The Tamlang Valley Management Council is pushing to operationalize the project to boost agricultural productivity, promote food security, and address insurgency and social inequalities in the province, said Efren Carreon, member of the Provincial Economic Team, and former regional director of the National Economic Development Authority in Region 7.

Backed by the Regional Development Council, the Tamlang Valley project is one of the priority projects of the Central Visayas Development Investment Program to access local or foreign funding agencies.

Initially, the provincial government will start constructing the infrastructure development or road network with funds worth P10 million going to Tamlang area.

Gov. Chaco Sagarbarria said that as soon as the design of the original road map is finalized, the Philippine Rural Development Project would also start construction of the road network project or farm-to-market roads access and connectivity worth P1.2 billion in the area.

He reported that the province has submitted a proposal to the Office of the President for the conversion of certain portions of the public forest in Tamlang Valley into agricultural land.

This is to optimize the land that the valley occupies, which is around 26,000 hectares of open and idle lands.

Sagarbarria said the food production in Tamlang is a priority activity to help the community in the area as well as ensure the food security of the province.

“I want to prioritize the lands devoted to rice and corn production, planted with food crops such as banana, vegetables, and all other crops,” the governor said.

“This is an expensive program but it is a legacy to all of us in the Province. Being the governor, at least I am confident that if anything happens internationally, like the problem of food shortage, we will not be worried because we will have more supply of food commodity in the Province with this project, but right now we do not have,” he added.

Sagarbarria said the project is in support of the agricultural program under President Marcos Bagong Pilipinas goal  to bring down the cost of rice and other commodities in the country.

Carreon said the TVMC is eyeing a possible bigger source of funding from the Official Development Assistance, which can be accessed through the international funding community aside from the General Appropriation Act to attain sustainability of the project.

However, the funding from ODA will come later as soon as the feasibility study from the Department of Agriculture and other documents are ready as part of the requirements for the comprehensive development.

Carreon said the council is also considering partnering with the private sector.

“Of course, the public-private partnership also helps heighten the project with the private sector as a potential source for funding as well, and the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce & Industry is with us as one of the prime movers of the Tamlang Valley project. This will come into PPP or a joint venture agreement which was a priority funding scheme given to us by the national government,” said Carreon.

For now, Carreon said some investors have expressed willingness to put up business plants in the area as long as the agricultural products are ready.

Of the total P1.4 billion initial budget for the project, P9.2 million is allotted for feasibility study and P180 million for agriculture and fishery production, P3 million for institutional development, P10.4 million for research and capability building, P33 million for road network, bridges or infrastructure development, P350 million for the establishment of irrigation system, P5 million for upgrading of Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative II lines, and P3 million for enterprise development among other improvements. (JCT/PIA7 NegOr)

 

 

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