DA-12 rushing to finish WB-funded projects

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 March) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 is pushing for the completion by the end of June of the remaining agricultural projects in the area that were funded under the second phase of the World Bank-supported Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP-2).

Amalia Jayag-Datukan, DA Region 12 executive director, said Tuesday the implementation of projects in the region under the MRDP-2 are currently ongoing and on track towards their targeted completion schedules.

She said they are now finalizing the phasing out in the region of the MRDP-2, which is set to end its physical implementation on June 30.

As of end-February, she said around P142.9 million worth of additional MRDP-2 sub-projects were completed and turned over to their beneficiaries in various parts of Region 12.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

In South Cotabato, two projects worth around P19.96 million were completed in the towns of Banga and Polomolok.

These are the P12.36-million improvement and construction of the Sagrada–Cabudian farm-to- market road in Banga and the construction of a single lane reinforced concrete deck girder bridge worth P7.6 million in Barangay Koronadal Proper in Polomolok.

The completed projects in North Cotabato worth a total of P98.33 million were the rehabilitation of the Kapayawi-Bao farm-to-market road in Alamada; rehabilitation of the communal irrigation system in Barangay Pisan in Kabacan; rehabilitation of the Upper Mingandang-Lower Mingading farm-to-market road and the rehabilitation of the Katalicanan-Upper Mingading Tornado road in Aleosan; rehabilitation of the Upper Bulanan-Sitio Bayabas road in Midsayap; and, the rehabilitation of the Cabangbangan-Natipakan and Malire-Tiyawan roads in Matalam.

The other completed projects were the rehabilitation of the Kawas communal irrigation system in Alabel, Sarangani worth P11.16 million and the construction of Numo-Dukay potable water system in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat worth P4.4 million.

Out of the P4.52 billion allocated by DA for MRDP-2’s rural infrastructure component, Datukan said Region 12 availed of a total of P755 million worth of sub-projects.

She said these projects comprised farm-to-market roads, single-lane bridges, irrigation systems, potable water systems and other agriculture-related infrastructure.

With the phase out of the MRDP-2, Datukan said the region received an initial funding of P138.75 million for the implementation of the initial phase of the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).

The PRDP, which is also supported by the World Bank, is the expanded version of the MRDP.

The national government allotted a total of P27.5 billion for the PRDP’s implementation, with around 75 percent coming from a loan with the World Bank. (MindaNews)