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WB holds 1st review of rural dev’t proj

MANILA, Philippines - The World Bank is conducting its first review of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) being implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The first of the two review missions to be conducted this year would look into the progress of the rural development project, as well as issues that affect its implementation.

The review mission’s kick-off meeting at the DA central office started Monday, Jan. 19 and was attended by a team from World Bank, as well as Agriculture officials from the head office, regional bureaus and attached agencies.

The event will be followed by cluster review meetings in Negros Occidental for Visayas, General Santos for Mindanao, Albay for South Luzon and La Union for North Luzon

The PRDP, implemented beginning July 2014, is a six-year program currently implemented by the DA with the World Bank for the creation of an inclusive, value-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.

The total project cost for the PRDP is P27.5 billion consisting of a P20.5 billion loan from the World Bank, P3.58 billion counterpart funding from the national government, P3.112 billion equity of local government units, and P287 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

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The PRDP builds on the innovations introduced by the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) that was concluded in 2013. It will cover 80 provinces in 16 regions.

Agriculture Secretary Processo Alcala urged the implementers of PRDP to counter-check the progress of their respective projects against the results of the review.

“We do not need to start new projects and enterprises if there are those we can enhance, upscale or mainstream. Some of these only need to be appropriately situated in the commodity value chain or only need to be jumpstarted through one of our financing programs,” he said.

In the first semester of its implementation, the PRDP has already received project proposals from local government units collectively valued at P11.382 billion. These project proposals are for support for production, marketing and logistics.

As of December 2014, 66 provinces already have provincial commodity investment plans (PCIP) approved by their respective provincial development councils for the program.

A total of 195 sub-projects have been proposed by local government units under the Infrastructure Development Component (I-Build) worth P11.02 B, part of which is the construction and rehabilitation of 1,121 kilometers of farm-to-market roads.

Proposed so far under the Enterprise Component (I-Reap) are 31 projects worth P361.84 million, which includes programs for market assistance, capability-building, technology development, and production, and post-harvest support, among others.

The PRDP program also provides for a value chain analysis for 25 priority agricultural commodities in the country including coffee, rubber, mango and seaweeds.

A value chain analysis is used to identify public and private investment opportunities by determining the status of a particular industry, the linkages among players, and the interventions that could be implemented to develop the industry.

Alcala continues to urge increased participation by local government units in its rural development programs.

“The success of government programs rely largely on the support of local government units, especially in rural areas, because they know the needs for their constituents,” he said.

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