ROAD CONNECTIVITY. The local government unit of Sison in Surigao del Norte welcomes the completion of the PHP20-million farm to market road that will connect Barangays Ima and Sukailang to the town center. The road network, with a length of 1.3 kilometers, is funded under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. (Photo courtesy of LGU Sison)

BUTUAN CITY – At least two remote and conflict-affected villages in the town of Sison, Surigao del Norte are now connected to the town center with the completion of the concreting of a farm-to-market road.

Sison town Mayor Karissa Fetalvero-Paronia said the road project is funded under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and is scheduled to be turned over to the local government unit this month.

The concreted FMR, with a total cost of PHP20 million and a length of 1.33 kilometers, will directly connect Barangays Ima and Sukailang to the center of Sison town.

“Barangays Ima and Sukailang are among the conflict-affected barangays in our town due to insurgency,” Paronia said in a phone interview on Thursday (June 1, 2023).

She added that last year, Barangay Ima was a recipient of the community support program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that led to its clearing from the presence of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

After the NPA sympathizers in the area surrendered to the government, the barangay was recommended for a project under NTF-ELCAC last year, particularly its connectivity to the town center through a concrete road, she added.

“It’s in Barangay Ima that my convoy and I survived an ambush staged by the NPA rebels in October 2021,” Paronia recalled.

She added that Barangay Ima is also the home of the Mamanwa tribe which consists of one-third of the population.

With the concrete road network, the residents of the two barangays who primarily rely on farming can now directly market their produce to the market centers in Sison, as well as in Surigao City. (PNA)