PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
2.2.1 Inventory of Physical Data and Infrastructures
a) Physical Land and Water Use
Economically, a piece of land is said to be of optimum use when the activity applied on it produces maximum output expected. Socially, the use of piece of land is said to have the majority within the area. Indeed, the search for a better use of land will not stop as human life necessities keep on growing.
Generally, Lupao terrain ranges from flat to mountainous areas. Flat areas are found mostly within the urban areas and barangay centers. Moreover, it has vast areas of land devoted to agriculture, forest, residential, pastureland/vacant land and other areas.
The Municipality of Lupao has a total land area of 17,378 hectares. This area is delineated into built-up areas composed of residential uses, commercial uses, parks and open spaces, industrial, agricultural, forest areas, pastureland/vacant land and road/infra.
The built-up area is composed of residential, commercial, institutional, and open space covering an area of 3,232.16 hectares, or 18.60% of the total land area.
Residential land Use:
The existing residential area of the town is about 3,093.25 hectares or 17.80% of the total area. This consists of residential subdivision and the residential areas scattered in the different urban and rural areas.
Commercial Land Use:
The existing commercial land use in the town is approximately 7,265 hectares or 0.04% of the total land area of the municipality.
Institutional Land Use:
Institutional area covers 40.7781 hectares, or 0.24% of the land area of the town. These include government offices, schools, rural health units, day care centers, civic centers and religious centers.
The existing land area for parks/open space is 90.8532 hectares or 0.52% of the total land area of the municipality. This includes playgrounds, parks, plazas and cemeteries.
Agricultural Land Use:
The municipality’s present agricultural area is approximately 8,367.83 hectares or 48.15% of the total land area. Irrigated Riceland covers an area of 2,150 hectares and 4,300 hectares are unirrigated as per records of the Department of Agriculture.
Industrial Land Use:
The existing land area for industrial use is approximately 2.470 hectares or 0.01% of the total land area. This includes establishments operating within the municipality.
Forest areas constitute the second largest land category in the municipality. It covers 3,962.34 hectares or 22.8% of the total land area. This constitutes watershed and integrated social forestry.
Pastureland/vacant land covers an approximate area of 1,723.2818 hectares or 9.92% of the total land area. These areas include mostly grassland and /or pastureland and idle land.
Fishery development is limited to fishponds found mostly in small impounding dams and farm reservoirs. Its area is included in the agricultural zone. Water resources include rivers, creeks, ponds and other forms of tributaries from natural sources as long as rain fed areas.
b) Road Network
The existing road network of the town is approximately 89.9082 hectares in terms of area or 0.52% of the total land area. In terms of length, national roads have a total length of 10 kilometers while the provincial road which was converted in secondary national road has a total length of 8 kilometers, 5 kilometers of which has been already converted. Municipal roads have a total length of 12.54 kilometers, 7.22 kilometers or 57.88% has been cemented, 0.80 kilometer or 6.38% has been asphalted and 4.52 kilometers or about 36.04% of gravel type road. While the total Farm-to-market roads of barangay roads are 147.052 kilometers, 4.039 kilometers or 2.93% of pavement type, 1.15 kilometers or 0.78% of asphalt type and 141.59 kilometers or 96.29% of gravel type road. It includes feeder roads or dirt roads, which makes the transportation of goods and services from barangays to the trading center extremely difficult especially during rainy season. (See table 9).-
c) Power Supply Facilities
Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative [NEECO II] is currently supplying twenty three (23) out of twenty four (24) barangays of the municipality. Only Barangay Santo Domingo is unenergized. At present there are 4496 households that are being served by the electric utility and by the year 2004 it is projected to reach an estimated 6,000 households
d) Domestic Water Supply Facilities
Majority of the people relies on shallow and deep well on their drinking water needs in the absence of a centralized water system
e) Communication Facilities
Reliable communication process cultivates the awareness of the people and makes them a potent instrument of development and partner in social upliftment. The telecommunication services available in the municipality consist of telephone system (cellular) powered by Smart, Globe and Suncellular Communications, telegraph and postal office. No specific number of cellular phones is available but they are being used to service the local and international needs of the populace. The municipality also has a radio communications system, which serves as the link between the different barangays and the municipality.
The postal service of the municipality has a total number of five (5) employees servicing the whole town. This includes one (1) Postmaster, three (3) postman and one (1) Accounting Clerk.
Taking into consideration the standard ratio of one (1) letter carrier per 5,000 populations, is the three (3) existing letter carrier are insufficient to meet the postal needs of the residents.
• Transportation Network
Lupao is accessible to neighboring tons/cities and provinces by land with approximate total road network of 159.592 kilometers which are classified in three (3) categories, namely; National, Municipal and Barangay Roads.
f) Irrigation Facilities
Irrigation facilities includes Small Impounding dams [SWIP], Small Farm Reservoirs [SFR], Communal Irrigation System, Shallow tube well [STW] and Diversion Dams [DD]. They complement the water coming from natural sources such as brooks, rivers and creeks especially during the rainy season. There is still a great need to construct more of these facilities since it is projected that by year 2004 the population of Lupao will reach thus the need to produce more in terms of palay to feed the local population.
g) Market Facilities
Commercial activities in the Municipality of Lupao have been geared to service local needs. In terms of agricultural trading facilities, there are eight (8) palay traders conducting business within the town, though numerous palay buyers from neighboring towns are also buying palay from the local farmers especially during the harvest season, which is mostly on the months of October to November.
The major area for the exchange of goods and services is in the public market and along the major thoroughfares. However, despite the presence of the public market in the municipality, the population still goes to other towns and cities like San Jose and Cabanatuan for their complete shopping and marketing needs. On hand to facilitate business transactions in the town are three (3) rural banks and four (4) lending institutions and pawnshops.
2.2.2 Physical Infrastructure Limitations
The infrastructure sector is troubled by problems related with project implementation and that of providing adequate facilities and services. Lags in project implementation and primarily caused by unfavorable weather conditions, escalation of prices of raw materials. Inadequate facilities and services are further aggravated by the rapid deterioration of existing and newly completed structures by perennial activities.
2.2.3 Critical Issues in Infrastructures
Because of the presence of undeveloped infrastructure facilities and services in the different barangays of the municipality, the production potential is not fully tapped.
The number of hours lost in transporting farm produce to the market through unpaved roads is quite high and is a reason for higher inputs for production for the farmers. Therefore, roads and other infrastructure support services bear a more immediate impact to farmers, the less fortunate among the economic agents in rice economy.