P842-M poured to Mindanao under WB-funded project

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/01 October)– At least P842 million worth of projects have been completed across Mindanao under a World Bank-funded program for agriculture since the project was launched six years ago, officials said.

In 2007, the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched the expanded Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP), mostly funded by a loan facility from the World Bank with counterpart funds from the national and local governments.

Under MRDP’s Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD), the government allotted at least P1.2 billion in livelihood assistance to farmers and peoples’ organizations, of which P842 million has been utilized so far, according to a statement issued by the DA Region 12 office here.

Region 12, also called the Soccsksargen Region, led the disbursement of program funds at a rate of 93 percent and is also the region with the most number of completed subprojects among the six regions in Mindanao, said Amalia J. Datukan, DA-12 director.

Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Of the 770 subprojects in Region 12, 694 have been completed worth P242.5 million, she said.

“Our accomplishment only speaks up how our MRDP personnel devoted their time and efforts in ensuring that our project beneficiaries do their part in disbursing the funds given to them,” Datukan said.

Next to Region 12, Caraga region posted a total of 527 completed subprojects out of 686; Northern Mindanao with 516 out of 775; Davao Region with 398 out of 560; Zamboanga Peninsula with 301 out of 506; and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 295 out of 483, according to the statement.

In terms of the CPAD budget, Northern Mindanao and Caraga have accessed P250 million each, P202.5 million for the Davao Region, P192.5 million for ARMM and P127.5 million for Zamboanga Peninsula, it added.

CFAD applies the demand-driven approach where the farmer-beneficiaries plan, decide, procure, implement and manage their livelihood activities, the statement said.

Lealyn Ramos, MRDP program director, said their respective local government units endorsed the beneficiaries.

Currently, 549 subprojects worth P234.8 million are ongoing and 500 subprojects worth P168.7 million are up for implementation in the different parts of the island, the statement said.

The other components of MRDP include Investments for Governance Reforms and Program Administration, Rural Infrastructure and Natural Resource Management. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)