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DAR: PRDP to get additional fund

The World Bank has committed to add another $280 million in funding for the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar confirmed Saturday.

In a press conference here Saturday, Dar said the new funding is expected to be downloaded to the program next month.

“We have talked with World Bank (for the additional funding) and that they have agreed to add another $280 million,” he said.

He told the TIMES after the press conference that the reason for the new funding is that the bank found the PRDP as a “better mechanism in uplifting the people in the rural areas.”

Although he said he could not still provide more details, Dar said the additional funding will allow the PRDP to add more sub-projects.

This developed as Dar also announced that the agency will institutionalize the value chain analysis in implementing its programs.

Value chain analysis and the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan are the two main requirements for local government units to comply with before they can access the funding for their sub-project.

Although some LGUs have expressed difficulty in complying with the value chain analysis as this has become the challenge in accessing the fund of PRDP, Mr. Dar said there is a need to find ways for them to comply with it.

“What we will do is to simplify the process without sacrificing due diligence,” he explained in relation to requiring all projects be approved only if these pass the value chain analysis requirements.

Confirming the difficulty of some LGUs in complying with the value chain analysis, PRDP Mindanao concurrent program director Ricardo M. Oñate Jr.  told TIMES that it is about time that they educate themselves in complying with it.

“In the long run, this will motivate them to craft programs that have strong foundations and have real goals and quantifiable targets,” Oñate said as he also confirmed the additional funding for the project.

Implemented in 2014, the PRDP was patterned after the Mindanao Rural Development Program.

The PRDP had an initial funding of P27 billion, but because of the huge demand for more funding, the World Bank approved in December 2018 an additional fund of $450 million.

Aside from value chain analysis, the PRDP has also been implementing geotagging, which identifies the project in real time and real place, preventing the unscrupulous practice in the past of some government agencies, including LGUs, to seek funding that were already funded or even completed.

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