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PIA Press Release

Sec. Yap assures more funds, projects for Mindanao

Davao City (24 May) -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Arthur Yap reiterated the availability of more funds and projects for Mindanao while talking to local government officials during the launching ceremony of the Mindanao Rural Development Program-Adaptable Program Loan (MRDP-APL2) in Davao City on Wednesday (May 23).

However he challenged the lgus to put their acts together and show them (DA) where to put the resources.

"You must tell us where to put them and show us your plans because we have the money," he said.

Although Yap did not give figure as to how much is earmarked for Mindanao he said President Arroyo initially approved P3 billion for irrigation repair and rehabilitation.

This is the biggest fund approval in recent years where before the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) only gets a budget of P200 million and the bulk of it goes to salaries of workers, he said.

He also said that the National Food Authority has received orders to go out early and buy rice early. There is money for that including the refurbishing of the warehouses.

Meanwhile, he said the MRDP is only one of the projects that will be focused on Mindanao and a lot more is earmarked for the island, he said.

Although he said that MRDP will put more weight on infrastructure programs what is critical is building the human resource component of the lgus.

He said they must improve on resource management and service delivery system.

"MRDP is participatory and DA does not initiate it but we are here to assist the stakeholders improve their capacity," he said.

He stressed that MRDP is not dole out as costing is 50-50 sharing among parties involved.

As projects under MRDP are directed more on infrastructure it has to cut across the sectors even as Yap said they are there to create the environment for profit.

"The needed support facilities like irrigation, farm to market road, bridges, etc. must be made available to help the communities improve on their income," he said.

The availability of such facilities in the area would improve revenues within the area as well as the income of people, he added. (PIA XI/Prix D Banzon) [top]

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