RA 7171 vehicles help entire community, share Ilocos Norte beneficiaries

May 16, 2017 ...

Beneficiaries of vehicles purchased using Ilocos Norte's share of the Tobacco Excise Tax or Republic Act (RA) 7171 lauded how the said equipment benefits their entire barangays in addition to improving farmer welfare and productivity.

Purchase of the said vehicles have become a point of investigation by the House of Representatives initiated by Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo "Rudy" C. Fariñas against the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN).

PGIN was accused of "misuse of funds" amounting to P66.5 million due to motor vehicles supposedly not being beneficial for the farmer communities.

However, in Bimmanga, Currimao, the multicabs "ay napakalaking tulong sa amin, lalo sa mga magsasaka at sa mga senior citizen tuwing sila ay may pulong, at maging ang ibang sektor o organisasyon," said Barangay Chairman Ernesto Madriaga.

"Malaki ang benepisyong nakukuha namin mula dito," he added, "lalo na sa mga may sakit 'pagkat malayo kami mula sa pinakamalapit na hospital."

Likewise, Edilito Magarbos, barangay captain of Paratong, Paoay, lauded its usefulness in terms of transportation, particularly for their senior citizens "tuwing sila ay nagpapa-checkup."

They also use the multicab for collecting trash around their barangay, and in transporting crops to the town market.

The vehicles also help ensure safety and security of barangay residents, as in the case of Brgy. Pacifico, Marcos.

Barangay Chairman Alexander Navarro shared that in addition to carrying farm produce, "Ito rin ang ginagamit namin sa pagpatrolya sa gabi at sa pagresponde sa tuwing may emergency o may kailangang itakbo sa ospital."

"Nagagamit namin sa pagsasaka, evacuation, pagkolekta ng basura, at paghatid sa mga may sakit sa ospital," echoed Edilberto Tagale, chairman of Brgy. Bubuos, Solsona.

Meanwhile Raul Ralar, chairman of Brgy. San Pedro, Paoay, shared that the vehicle has been proven useful during and after calamities, such as typhoons, in scouting their community roads and cleaning up fallen trees and other debris from damage.

In light of the complaint against PGIN misusing funds of the tobacco excise tax, Magarbos maintains that the fund did not go to waste.

"Ikabubuti ng mga mamamayan ito at napakaganda ito, 'pagkat talagang nakakatulong ito sa barangay," added Navarro.

Tagale also offered, "Napakahalaga na nabigyan kami ng multicab 'pagkat napakaraming gamit nito sa amin."

by Mizpah Grace Castro



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