COA to DA: Hasten rollout of farm infrastructure projects under PRDP

The Commission on Audit (COA) urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to fasttrack the implementation of projects under the World Bank-backed Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).

The COA noted that the DA failed to complete 14 subprojects (SPs) worth nearly P1 billion last year.

In its annual audit report, the COA called out the DA as it was only able to complete four SPs out of the 16 slated SPs under the PRDP for 2017.

“Out of the 49 SPs approved for implementation during the year costing P3.756 billion, 16 SPs costing P1.124 billion were targeted for completion, of which only four SPs were completed and the remaining 12 SPs costing P957.678 million were not yet complete as of year-end,” the state auditors said in the report published on its web site recently.

The SPs include farm-to-market roads (FMRs), bridges, communal irrigation systems (CIS), potable water systems (PWSs), production and postproduction facilities and other postproduction facilities and other infrastructure, such as fish landings, fish sanctuary/protected area guardhouses, among others.

The SPs are under the Intensified Building-Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (IBuild) component of the PRDP. The program is funded by a loan from the World Bank.

The COA urged the DA to identify bottlenecks in implementing the SPs to ensure the immediate completion of the projects.

“We recommended and Management agreed to promptly resolve the identified issues in the delayed project implementation/completion,” the report read.

Furthermore, the COA recommended that the DA should “revisit the implementing guidelines for the IBuild Component for the enhancement of the mechanics and evaluate the feasibility of the proposed project to ensure smooth and successful implementation thereof.”

“Any delay of implementation will also result in the delay of project completion, thereby depriving the intended users on the immediate benefits that will be derived therefrom,” the state auditors said.

The COA report noted that the 12 uncompleted SPs under the PRDP last year were in Region 4A and Region 6.

There were seven uncompleted projects for Region 4A costing about P522.11 million, which involves PWS and FMRs.

The five uncompleted SPs for Region 6 include FMRs, warehouse for coco geonets and road improvements, which amounted to P435.567 million.

“As of December 31, 2017, PRDP PSO [Project Support Office] Luzon B generated a total of 116 SP proposals from interested proponent LGUs within Regions 4-A, 4-B and 5 amounting to P9,296,225,589.64,” the state auditors said in the report.

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