RELIEF FOR FARMERS. The Army's 26th Infantry Battalion, through Lt. Col. Sandy Majarocon (2nd from left), leads the turnover of the PHP300,000 motorized outboard transport service to the Mahagsay Farmers Association in a ceremony held on Monday (Dec. 5, 2022) in San Luis town, Agusan del Sur. The project is received by Mahagsay village chair Lito Manseliohan (2nd right). (Photo courtesy of 26IB)

BUTUAN CITY – The Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion (IB), in collaboration with the local government unit (LGU) of San Luis in Agusan del Sur, facilitated the release of a motorized outboard transport service to a farmer’s group in the area.

In a statement Tuesday, the 26IB said the PHP300,000 worth of motorized transport vessel was handed over to the Mahagsay Farmers Association.

The turnover of the transport service was led by 26IB commander, Lt. Col. Sandy Majarocon, with the support of the representatives of San LGU on Monday.

“The project is funded under the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” the 26IB said.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mahagsay village chief, Lito Manseliohan, said the water transport service will boost the connectivity of the farmers in his barangay situated 35 kilometers away from the markets of San Luis and nearby towns.

“If the weather is good, travel time to the market is more than three hours. If it's unfavorable, our farm products usually reach the market centers in half day of travel,” he said.

The new transport service, he added, can carry 15 persons and can accommodate sacks of farm products that will be moved through the Maasam River.

“If we follow the route of Maasam River through this transport service, travel time to market centers will only last for more than an hour. This is a great relief to our farmers,” Manseliohan said.

Noting that the farmers’ association has 50 members, he said even the non-members can avail of the services of the new outboard transport service.

“We will sit down with the association to finalize the guidelines in the use of the new facility,” Manseliohan said, adding that most of the farmers in Barangay Mahagsay are engaged in the production of corn, rice and root crops. (PNA)