DA asks P6B additional budget for MRDP

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 January)—The Department of Agriculture has requested the World Bank to pour an additional P6 billion into the extension and expansion of the second phase of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP).

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, said in a press forum on Monday at Pinnacle Hotel that the funding agency is currently conducting a review of the program implementation.

“The review mission is critical as it will render an evaluation that has influence on our request for project extension and additional financing, particularly for the rural infrastructure component. We are pleased to note that MRDP 2 has achieved 30.5% disbursement rate equivalent to $25.35 million,” he said.

The department already wrote a letter to WB on their plan to expand the loan portfolio within the last quarter of the previous year.

The funding agency is also in the process of evaluating the request of the department.

DA planned to expand the MRDP 2 in three years to cover more project proposals from different local government units.

Earlier, the WB allocated P4.82 billion for the establishment of the rural infrastructure projects under MRDP 2 that include farm-to-market-roads. The program is the continuation of WB’s adoptable program loan facility in 1999.

The program intends to reduce poverty among the rural poor, women, indigenous peoples and local communities in the island, supporting the long-term projects of the administration.

At present, the program covers 225 municipalities and 26 provinces in the island including Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (MindaNews)