Community-Based Road Maintenance Contracting (CBRMC)
Considered as a “life blood” of any locality, roads are vital for economic development. It serves as main modes for transporting products and goods from one place to another, especially for an agricultural province such as Davao del Norte. Well-maintained roads usher in prospective business opportunities and investments. Along this line, the Davao del Norte LGU endeavored to efficiently preserve and maintain its provincial roads through the active participation and involvement of the local community.
The Davao del Norte Community-Based Road Maintenance Contracting (DavNor CBRMC) is a road maintenance project that encourages and enables the local communities to actively engage in the upkeep of provincial roads. It aims to mobilize community groups and capacitate them in road maintenance and minor repair to extend the longevity and lifespan of provincial roads. It also strengthens the capacity of the Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO) to plan, manage, and supervise labor-based road activities.
Out of the 839.95 kilometers of provincial roads of Davao del Norte, 314.94 kilometers are currently under the program, with thirty six (36) Community-based Service Providers (CBSPs) involved. Farmers/growers and irrigators associations made up most of the CBSPs.
Under the program, the community undergoes different capacity development seminars, skills training, and workshops through the assistance of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to equip them with necessary skills in road maintenance. CBSPs receive a quarterly payment for the service they render. CBSPs bill an estimate average of PhP60,000 to PhP90,000 per kilometer, allowing members to receive salaries averaging from PhP250 to PhP350 per day. This gives communities the sense of ownership and responsibility in maintaining the roads within their vicinity while at the same time providing additional income to the members of the community.
While the CBSP delivered the manual routine road maintenance, the PEO performed machine activities and periodic maintenance such as gravelling and machine grading. The program also has a Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) through short message service (SMS) sent to PEO to accommodate and address the pressing concerns from the stakeholders and the community in general. The program does not only involve those who are under contract with the provincial government in the upkeep of the roads. Ideas, insights, and recommendations from the community members are also solicited to further the growth and improvement of the program’s processes and approach.
The program resulted in faster response to minor road damages such as patching and repairs of unpaved road surfaces and shoulders. Quarterly maintenance activities were also undertaken, such as vegetation control, culvert and ditch cleanup, and guardrail and road sign maintenance on roads under the program instead of the yearly maintenance previously provided by the province. This significantly extended the maintainable life span of provincial roads. Furthermore, in support of the efforts of the Community-Based Disaster Management Program of Davao del Norte, the program acts as a prevention mechanism for floods caused by overflowing of ditches and canals in the communities.
The program has enhanced the service delivery of the provincial government to its constituents by providing better access roads for various programs and opportunities to reach the communities faster and easier. Because the roads have been well maintained, there is a cut back in the cost of logistics for the transportation of goods from the farm to the market. For instance, before the program, farmers spent at least PhP50 to transport their goods from the farm to the highway. Now, they spend the same amount to transport their goods directly to the marketplace. Because the program performed well and has shown positive output and impact to the entire community, Executive Order no. 22, series 2017 reconstituting the DavNor CBRMC was passed to sustain the program. Future plans of the LGU for the program include placing all provincial roads under the CBRMC, and collaborating with TESDA to further capacitate the CBSPs.
The program did not only improve people’s lives with increased mobility and connectivity but also provided employment opportunities to local residents. More importantly, it heightened the spirit of bayanihan and developed a deep sense of ownership among the people as partners of the government in advancing socio-economic development.