Lila: paving a smoother way for inclusive growth, development

Paving its way to progress, this small town Lila is putting its money where its mouth is, in investing on road infrastructure projects.

This is to allow farm produce a way to the market and hopefully bring about inclusive growth, according to Lila mayor Regina Salazar.

And for a town blessed with high humidity, being sandwiched by the sea and the tall mountains on its north, farm produce is good, but getting these fresh and bruise-free products to the main highway is tricky, especially without paved roads.

That is why, as soon as the leadership of Mayor Regina Cahiles-Salazar and Vice Mayor Arturo Piollo, getting to the core issue of farm to market roads for its 10 upland barangays was never hard, Information Officer Imee Tapon-Raut shared.

Mayor Cahiles, whose husband happened to be former National Irrigation Administration Carlos Salazar, making the critical connection appeared to be a no-hard sell.

Records from the town revealed that since 2012 to present, concreting of key farm to market road (FMR) projects happened in all 18 barangays, some even getting two FMR projects.

A total of 22 FMR projects have been funded by the LGU and other outside sources, until 2016, and within these stretches of roads traversed by creeks, funds also poured to at least three box culverts: two in Malinao East, and one in Nagsulay, Raut, who also sits as tourism officer and Sangguniang Bayan secretary detailed.

Over the FMRs, the town council also approved and the LGU implemented at least two also funded two barangay road rehabilitation projects: one in Poblacion and another one in Cayupo.

Responding to the challenges of climate change and its mitigation, the Salazar-Piollo tandem led the local leaders and with the help of national government agencies present in the town, prioritized the setting up of an evacuation center, now completed in Malinao East.

The rising tide and the stronger waves also prompted the town officials to fund some seawall projects to afford the town’s built-up areas some degree of protection.

Seawalls in Nagsulay, Poblacion and Catugasan now stand, and the availability of funds may soon signal teh stretching of these barriers to protect residents.

And to avert another embarrassing overflow of rainwater from the mountains to the Poblacion, especially as the flash flow converges near the public market and the main thoroughfares, the town decided to put up drainage system to facilitate the flow of storm water.

The years that passed also saw the completion of the Multi Purpose Gymnasium, rehabilitation of the old American period Municipal Hall which now houses the town library and the repainting of the old and the new town halls.

As to health, other than the usual procurement of medicines to prop up its medical and health services, the town also implemented the rehabilitation of the old Municipal Health Center, the building of the new Birthing Center.

In education, other than the usual support in the delivery of basic education, the town built two new Day Care Centers: one in barangay Cogon and another one in Jambawan.

In the recent years, intent on hitch hiking into the tourism bandwagon, the town put up a Municipal Tourism Office and is now setting its sights in developing the potentials of its natural springs, beaches and rich marine life.

Also seen as potential for adventure tourism is mountain trekking and upland adventures, local sources at the tourism industry revealed.

As the town is classified as 5th class, an Internal Revenue Allotment of a little less than P50,000,000, and a much lower income and revenue, the option to prop up the incomes of its local producers through facilitated access to markets, is the most doable option to bring about growth, Mayor Salazar stressed. (PIA)

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