Seven SoCot towns tapped for MRDP

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said DA and the World Bank announced such development as they endorsed the province's participation in the MRDP-Adaptable Program Loan 2 or APL2.


She said DA and World Bank representatives visited the province last week to conduct an appraisal mission for the program's proposed implementation in the area.


"The focus of the program would be on infrastructure such as the construction and rehabilitation of farm access roads and the development of agricultural-related facilities," she said.


The Provincial Planning and Development Office is currently identifying the municipalities and proposed projects that would be covered by the program, she said.


Under the program, which is slated to begin in February 2007, the MRDP will fund at least 70 percent of the cost of the projects that would be implemented in the area.


The provincial government will shoulder the remaining 30 percent of the project's funding requirement.


A project briefer cited that at least US$90 million has been allotted for the implementation of MRDP-APL2, which would be managed by DA. MRDP-APL 2, which is a partly a grant from the World Bank, will cover at least 25 provinces and 225 municipalities in Mindanao and would run from 2007 to 2010.


The program was designed as a poverty reduction intervention for the rural poor and indigenous people’s communities of Mindanao by improving their income, food security and environmental integrity.


It also seeks to conserve and rehabilitate the coastal and terrestrial ecosystems in the globally and locally significant coastal and terrestrial ecosystems.


MRDP–APL2 will mainly focus on institutional strengthening and capability building for decentralized services, rural infrastructure, community fund for agricultural development and natural resource management.


The infrastructure projects supported by the program are farm-to-market roads, communal irrigation systems, potable water supply systems, and other rural infrastructure sub-projects.


Fuentes said the provincial government is looking at the program as possible model for its future development initiatives.


"I hope we can formulate on the local level a manner of delivering this program, which could be an effective tool for the transformation of our communities," she said.


Earlier this year, the provincial government launched the Development Alternative Framework or Project DAF, a convergence of the local government and the national government's socio-economic and development programs.


The program was initially launched in various peace and development communities in the province through a collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme's Act for Peace initiative.