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DA expects additional P8-B WB funding

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) expects an P8-billion additional financing from the World Bank next year as it ramps up its rural infrastructure development project.

Through the World-Bank assisted Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the DA will use a prioritization scheme for pipelined infrastructure development proposals to maximize the anticipated  P8-billion financing from World Bank.

Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said the prioritization scheme would rationalize the programming and budgeting process of the PRDP’s infrastructure development component, considering funding constraints.

“The pipelined sub-projects have already complied with the requirements of the PRDP such as feasibility study, detailed engineering design, and social and environmental safeguards but as we are currently challenged by limited budget, the best way to approach this is to fund the best proposals based on a set of criteria,” Cayanan said.

“With this scheme in place, we stick to technical and socio-economic viability of sub-projects, avoiding political intervention. We also ensure the equitable distribution of our interventions,” he added.

With the scheme, the DA will prioritize first time local government units (LGUs) that have no approved sub-projects but have signified interest and commitment by submitting proposals.

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Currently, there are still nine out of the 81 targeted provinces that have yet to receive financial assistance from the PRDP.

“Proposals must be linked to the approved Provincial Commodity Investment Plan , otherwise these will be deferred until the required document has been produced. Proposals satisfying the two conditions will automatically be placed on top of the priority list and will be exempt from all succeeding assessments,” PRDP national deputy project director Cirilo Namoc said.

Furthermore, proposals from LGUs with previously approved applications will be subjected to further prioritization, which will consider the LGU’s performance in its past engagement with the PRDP and the type of  subproject being proposed.

More points will be given to LGUs proven to have conformed with the PRDP standards on procurement, disbursement, transparency, and social and environmental safeguards, among others.

In support of the Risk Resiliency and Sustainability Program of the Climate Change Cabinet Cluster, the PRDP has incorporated climate resiliency criteria into the prioritization scheme.

Priority will also be given to proposals of the provinces located within identified high-risk and vulnerable water basins in the country, including Apayao, Zambales, Negros Oriental, Eastern Samar, Samar, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

Meanwhile, proposals that are not automatically prioritized must satisfy additional criteria to pass the initial screening and will again be subjected to the succeeding prioritization steps.

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