DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Aug) – The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) said it allotted P7.99 billion, or at least 40 percent of its total infrastructure budget of P20 billion, to finance the construction of 171 infrastructure projects in Mindanao.
PRDP-Mindanao information unit head Sherwin Manual told reporters Wednesday that they have already completed at least 31 projects with 69 ongoing worth P1.06 billion disbursed under their Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) program.
He said 13 projects are scheduled to start next month and 58 projects up for bidding.
Manual said they are intensifying the infrastructure program in Mindanao because it “has a problem in road network.”
He said the PRDP targets to develop at least 13,000 kilometer of road network in the country, of which 1,700 kms are in Mindanao.
The PRDP spends about P10 million to pave at least one kilometer as per standard imposed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), he said.
Under the I-BUILD program, PRDP wants to improve networks linking production areas with markets to enhance efficiency of transporting agricultural products, increase productivity from irrigation and water supply systems, and lower postharvest costs.
Manual said PRDP infrastructure projects include farm-to-market roads, bridges, communal irrigation system, potable water supply, and postharvest and other rural infrastructures.
The development objectives of the PRDP are to increase income of farmers and household beneficiaries in the agri-fishery sector and develop a more market-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fishery sector.
“Mindanao, as we go to the field, most of the production areas are difficult to access. Farmers still use old practices like transport using horse and carabaos,” he said.
Based on their agreement with the World Bank, Manual said they want their projects to result in a 5-percent increase of farmers’ income annually; 7-percent increase in the value of marketed output; 20-percent increase in access of farmers to DA services; and 30-percent increase in incomes of those direct beneficiaries of their enterprise development programs.
The PRDP is a six-year national government platform for an inclusive, value chain, oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
It’s implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA), and jointly funded by the World Bank, national and local government units. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)