Mindanao gears up for PRDP
PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga de Sur – The Department of Agriculture (DA) envisions bigger rural development next year as it rolls out the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).
DA is presently conducting rounds of orientation for local chief executives in Mindanao, as they will be the forerunners of implementation of PRDP expected to begin early next year.
PRDP is a six-year national government platform for an inclusive growth, value-chain oriented, and climate resilient agriculture and fisheries sector expected to pool a total funds of US$671.59 million or close to P28 billion from a loan portfolio of the World Bank (WB) and equity share of national and local government units (LGUs).
PRDP is the “up scale” version of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) still currently implemented in 225 towns in across Mindanao.
“Mindanao will lead the implementation as we already have the experience and have been consistently rated satisfactory by the World Bank,” said MRDP Deputy Director Arnel V. De Mesa.
He added that because of the better performance of the Mindanao LGUs, the WB has allowed retroactive funding for projects in Mindanao. “This means we can implement PRDP projects as early as January of 2013, ahead of everyone else in the country and that’s to our advantage,” he explained.
The PRDP orientation in this city attended by a total of 17 local chief executives and municipal personnel is the second leg of orientation which started last week in Cagayan de Oro City for Region 10, Butuan City for the Caraga Region and Davao City for Region 11. Region 12 orientation will be on Friday, October 19 in Koronadal City and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will be held the ensuing week in Davao City.
“PRDP is a much bigger project as DA looks at a bigger rural development covering 16 regions and 80 provinces,” de Mesa said.
“There will be no formal enrolment of the municipal LGUs; projects will be endorsed through the Provincial Development Councils,” de Mesa added.
PRDP will be implemented with four major components: I-Plan (Investment in AFMP Planning at the Local and National Levels); I-BUILD (Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Development); I-REAP (Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity); I-Support (Implementation Support to PRDP).
“Although provincial-led, the funds for infrastructure projects under the I-Build will be managed by the municipal government as procuring entities, as we do in MRDP,” de Mesa explained which garnered applause from the audience.
He said, this was the result of the clamor of the municipal mayors during the previous orientations last week.
Mayor Eldwin Alibutdan of Ipil, Zamboanga, Sibugay said he appreciates the set-up of the PRDP as it tackles holistic development.
“I personally have been pushing for grassroots development like MRDP and PRDP to achieve our dream of food security. The structure of the program responds to that call,” Alibutdan said.
He added that with PRDP, there would be a harmonized development plan in the province which could push for greater social impact.
“I also appreciate the present Aquino administration because the approval of the projects are based on merits. I have been a municipal development officer, councilor and board member, only this time I saw a very diligent project process and implementation,” he said.