P12.58 billion allotted for agriculture projects under PRDP, says DA

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday that a total of P12.58 billion has been allotted for various agriculture-related projects under a World Bank-funded initiative.

Of the amount, the DA said P10.96 billion has been approved for infrastructure projects funding under the Infrastructure Development component of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) as of August 14.

The DA also said in a statement that a total of P1.62 billion has been allocated for production, processing and marketing activities of agri-fishery products under the Enterprise Development (I-REAP) component.

Ten infrastructure projects worth P297.61 million are already being implemented and are over 50-percent complete, while 33 other infrastructure projects worth P2.02 billion are below 50 percent in progress.

Sixteen subprojects worth P616.85 million have been approved for implementation following the issuance of No-Objection Letter 2 (NOL-2) and 124 subprojects, amounting to P8 billion have been approved for funding and have been given NOL-1.

Under the I-REAP component, 10 subprojects worth P78.65 million have been approved for funding, including the calamansi marketing and trading project of the Naujan Farmers’ Association in Oriental Mindoro. In June the PRDP also transferred P20 million worth of checks to the Polo Samahang Nayon Cooperative to jumpstart their cassava granules production and marketing project.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the DA has introduced “modern tools” to help identify, validate and monitor subprojects under the PRDP. The Expanded-Vulnerability and Suitability Assessment Tool, for instance, a user online tool takes account of socioeconomic indicators to help target interventions under the project.

The DA also rolled out the Applied Goetagging (AGT) to validate and monitor progress of subprojects under the PRDP. Through the use of Global Positioning System technology in smartphones, photographs of proposed and implemented sub-projects can be laid out in Google Earth and be viewed online.

With AGT identifying the exact location of projects, Alcala said ghost and overlapping projects will be avoided.

The DA has also implemented the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM). Through the GRM, the PRDP is ready to accept and address grievances, complaints and suggestions of the public to improve the implementation of the subprojects.

Several projects being implemented under the P27-billion PRDP will be visited by a team from the World Bank. The World Bank team, led by Task Team Leader for PRDP Samik Sundar Das, met with DA officials on Monday.

Officials from World Bank and DA-PRDP will visit projects in Palawan for the South Luzon cluster, Isabela for the North Luzon cluster, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte for the Mindanao cluster, and Bohol for the Visayas cluster.

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