Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Conrado Estrella III is mobilizing field officials to keep an eye on all rural infrastructure sub-projects that have already been completed and turned over to concerned local government units (LGUs), and ensure that they are properly maintained and functioning according to their designs and purposes.
In a statement, the DAR chief said that it is vital for every regional and provincial agrarian reform official to see to it that all completed rural infrastructure sub-projects and those already turned over to concerned LGUs are monitored and their overall condition determined for proper management and maintenance.
“Keeping these rural infrastructures at their best condition helps sustain the gains the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program [CARP] has worked for through the years,” Estrella said.
He was referring to sub-projects implemented under its foreign-assisted special projects program.
Atty. Milagros Isabel Cristobal, Undersecretary for Support Services, urged all DAR regional directors and provincial agrarian reform program officers to institutionalize the conduct of the sustainability, monitoring and evaluation (SME) scheme “to preserve and restore the system of completed sub-projects.”
“We need to maintain in good condition completed foreign-assisted special sub-projects according to their designs and accepted configurations to offset the effects of weather, organic growth, traffic wear, damage or vandalism and to preclude deterioration of structures and appurtenant facilities over time,” Cristobal stressed.
Cristobal enjoined the field officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to conduct periodic SME on completed and turned-over rural infrastructure sub-projects as part of the program beneficiaries development program.
She also advised them to coordinate with concerned LGUs and monitor their compliance of providing operational and maintenance funds during the 10-year reglementary period from the date the projects were turned over to them to ensure that these sub-projects are properly maintained, functioning and beneficial to their intended beneficiaries.
Providing operational and maintenance funds for the DAR’s foreign-assisted special projects are clearly stipulated in the memoranda of agreement the concerned LGUs had forged with the DAR and the foreign financing institutions, in which the financial grants for the implementation of the projects will be reverted to loans and shouldered by the negligent LGUs.