60 PRDP projects in Mindanao completed

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RESIDENTS walk along a newly paved portion of the 3.6-kilometer Pamintayan-Bawang farm-to-market road in Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay. — DAPRDP.NET

DAVAO CITY — Sixty infrastructure projects in Mindanao out of 171 approved under the World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) have been completed, based on the PRDP June report.

The completed projects had a total cost of P1.83 billion.

Of the remaining projects, 77 are ongoing with a budget of P5.8 billion and 34 are under the procurement stage with an allocation of about P976.43 million.

On the enterprise development component, or the Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity Component (I-REAP), Mindanao got 97 projects with a fund of about P551.39 million.

The PRDP report said the program has so far provided an annual income increase of 15.2% to 27% for beneficiaries.

Under the I-REAP, a 16% increase in production area and 56% increase in volume of products sold to the market were also reported.

Engr. Danilo T. Alesna, PRDP Mindanao deputy director, attributed the increase in income and productivity to the comprehensive planning for the implementation of the projects.

“The PRDP does not allow a project to get implemented without the value chain analysis and the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan,” he said.

The two requirements compel local government units to identify a commodity and come up with projects that will increase the productivity and income of beneficiaries on that.

Majority of the projects are farm-to-market roads, which have reduced travel time on average by half and hauling cost by 13%, while increasing movement of people and goods by 189%, using the 2014 baseline.

“Because they saw the need for farmers to have a better way of bringing their products to the markets, LGUs decided to focus on the development roads,” said Mr. Alesna.

The PRDP — the successor and scaled-up version of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) that ended in 2013 — was implemented nationwide in 2014 as part of development interventions, especially for those affected in the Visayas by super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) that struck in November 2013. — Carmelito Q. Francisco