THE DAVAO City government is planning to propose new ventures for funding under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) as it recently re-established the special unit tasked to manage the agriculture-focused program at the local level.

An additional $280-million allocation was approved last year for the PRDP, a World Bank-funded program with the Department of Agriculture as lead implementing agency.

Launched in 2014 as a nationwide assistance program following the Mindanao Rural Development Program, PRDP had an initial P27 billion worth of funding with an additional infusion of $450 million approved in 2018.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued an executive order dated Jan. 31 renewing the City Project Management and Implementing Unit (CPMIU) for PRDP, which was first created in 2014.

Led by the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), the CPMIU is tasked to identify and endorse sub-projects to the PRDP Regional Project Coordination Office as well as supervise the implementation of the approved proposals.

The mayor’s order also specifies that the CPDO will take part in updating the city’s agricultural value chain analysis and the City Commodity Investment Plan, the two major PRDP requirements.

Other key members of the CPMIU are representatives from the City Agriculture’s Office, the City Veterinarian’s Office, and the City Cooperative Development Office.

This cluster is responsible for the Investments for Rural Enterprises, and Agricultural and Fisheries and Productivity (I-REAP) component, which focuses on developing micro, small and medium enterprises.

The City Engineer’s Office, meanwhile, is assigned to supervise the Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) component.

Of the four PRDP projects previously awarded to Davao City, one has been completed, involving cacao production and dry-fermented beans marketing with a P26-million fund for the 371-member Subasta Integrated Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative (SIFMPC).

Two ongoing projects also involve cacao: P7.7 million for the Tawan-Tawan Multi-Purpose Cooperative’s tablea processing and marketing enterprise; and P13.6 million for the Biao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative’s chocolate processing.

The fourth project involves abaca processing and marketing, with P13.5 million worth of funding for the Tapak Farmers Marketing Cooperative.

The CPDO has yet to determine whether the new proposals will involve the same priority commodities.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry President John Carlo B. Tria said aside from cacao, the city government can also look into boosting other high-value crops.

“For the city, we should continue to develop agricultural products like cacao, coffee and durian,” he said. — Carmelito Q. Francisco