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PIA Press Release

ADB cites DAR for good implementation of programs and projects

by Jose Al Smith Soria

Tacloban City (May 17) -- Representatives of the Asian Development Bank were impressed on the way the Department of Agrarian Reform Region 8 implements its programs and projects.

The Asian Development Bank representatives also lauded the local government of Balangiga, Eastern Samar which is included in the second phase of the Agrarian Reform Community Project.

DAR sourced out funding from ADB under a loan package by the national government for the implementation of ARCP-2 in 149 agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in 18 provinces nationwide to improve the quality of life of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in these areas.

Agustina Musa, the head of the ADB mission who were here recently for the second time to review the implementation process under ARCP-2 based on the standard of the loan provider, praised DAR's initiative to effectively carry out the project particularly on its agricultural enterprise development component such as the active participation of non-government organizations (NGOs) and private firms in providing technical support and ready market for the ARBs' products, in a conference at the Leyte Park Hotel.

Present during the conference were representatives from the NGOs ? Alay Buhay, East-West Seed Co., VICTO National, IDPG and the private firms ? SC Global Coco Products, Inc. and the Early-7 Marketing.

Early this year, SC Global Coco Products, Inc. signed a marketing contract with three ARB organizations: Omaganhan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc.; the Zaragosa Agrarian Reform Cooperative and the Boroc-Ipil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Primary Multi Purpose Cooperative for the banana and other high value products of the cooperatives, while the Early-7 Marketing entered a marketing agreement with the Sto. Niņo-Visares Multi Purpose Cooperative for the production and sale of dried cassava chips by the latter.

The ADB mission was likewise glad to note that the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) is also ready to provide credit support to the ARBs thru its agri-cash program.

Meanwhile, the ADB mission was also impressed with the community-driven development approach of implementing programs and projects by the Balangiga LGU.

The ADB officials always emphasize the sustainability of the project even beyond the 5-year implementation period of the ARCP-2 which will end in 2014, and they believe that this could be attained with the community-driven development approach in partnership with the private sector organizations.

During their visit here, Musa and the other ADB officials proceeded to the Balangiga ARC for the field inspection of the site where a proposed 1.6-kilometer farm-to-market road will be implemented.

This project is expected to improve production and increase household income of some 1,348 households in the area including those of the 796 ARBs here.

Although, Musa was satisfied with the overall performance in relation to ARCP-2 implementation in Region-8, she suggested that the private sector organizations form into a consortium to strengthen further their roles and enhance commitments. (PIA) [top]

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