GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 April) — The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the inclusion of eight priority farm-to-market road projects worth around P455 million into the national government’s flagship rural development initiative Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said Monday they are currently processing the enrolment of the road projects under the Intensified Building-Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development or I-BUILD component of the PRDP, which is supported by the World Bank.
She said the road projects will cover various prime agricultural production areas in the municipalities of Banga, Tampakan, Tupi and T’boli.
“These are high-impact road projects that are seen to further boost our agriculture and agri-industrial sectors,” the governor said.
The proposed projects are the concreting of the Cataan-Lamtabongbong and Sagrada roads in Banga town; Maltana-Lampitak provincial road, San Isidro-Junction Lambayong road and the Liberty-Palo road in Tampakan; Lote North–Miasong and the Kipalbig-Maltana roads in Tupi; and, Datal Dlanag-Tudok road in T’boli.
The eight road projects span a total of 55.5 kilometers and will traverse 15 barangays that host plantation areas for various high-value crops.
Fuentes said the proposed road projects were earlier endorsed to the provincial government by the four municipalities.
She said they were later adopted by the Provincial Development Council as priority initiatives this year for the PRDP based on an evaluation conducted by its infrastructure development committee.
Under the PRDP, the governor said local government-recipients are required to shoulder 10 percent of the project cost as counterpart.
For the eight projects, she said the four municipal governments need to come up with a total of P44.5 million for the counterpart funding.
“The provincial government will also contribute around P11 million to cover for the other costs,” she said.
Fuentes said the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 has been assisting the local government in complying with the initial requirements for the proposed projects.
The national government had allotted a total of P27.5-billion for the implementation of the PRDP through a loan grant from the World Bank.
The program, which formally took off in December last year, will be implemented by DA in parts of the country in the next six years. (MindaNews)