Toff de V seeks convergence for Mangaldan


FOURTH District Rep. Christopher ‘Toff’ de Venecia has tapped various national government agencies to do a convergence project with the municipality of Mangaldan which is now constructing a bike trail for health buffs along its winding river banks.

The bike trail, a brainchild of Mangaldan Mayor Bonafe Parayno, De Venecia said, can be supported by the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Public Works and Highways, Tourism, Agriculture and Trade and Industry.

Convergence is a new concept designed by the government to hasten the implementation of projects in the rural areas, where funds are often inadequate.

He pointed out that priority projects in small towns can be done if only agencies of the national government and the Local Government Units pool their respective manpower and their resources through a process called convergence.

“I think this Bona (nickname of Mayor Parayno) bike trail is a most welcome one since it leads to the establishment of eco-parks in different villages of Mangaldan, that will be patronized by the bikers and other nature lovers,” De Venecia said.

But he noted that the banks of rivers along the bike trail are mostly eroded and need some dredging in order to fortify them.

He proposed the planting of fruit-bearing and shade trees and other plants on both sides of the Bona Bike Trail as part of the  National Greening Program being implemented by DENR.

The completion of the biker trail jibes with De Venecia’s plan to promote Mangaldan as the wellness capital of the Fourth District if not in the entire province.

The DPWH can help the local government develop the trail while DA and DTI can provide livelihood to residents living along the bike trail.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) can promote the bike trail and the development of eco-parks.

“We will help Mayor Parayno source plants, ornamental and medicinal, that could help boost the livelihood of the people living near the rivers of Mangaldan, like ilang-ilang,” said De Venecia.

The private sector, he said, can come in and introduce other recreational activities by building a zip line, constructing rent picnic sheds, operate restaurants and kayaking along the town’s rivers.

De Venecia also threw his support to Mayor Parayno’s plan to establish a night market in the town, similar to the weekend night market of Laoag and in Dagupan City, during its fiesta.

Bigger proto-types of night markets he said can be seen in existing daily night markets in Quezon City and in Mandaluyong City. (Leonardo Micua)

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