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PIA Press Release

MRDP cost sharing agreement to fast-track P550-M projects

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (17 July) -- The 50:50 cost sharing arrangement of project implementers under the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) will immediately fast track farm-to-market-roads (FMR) and irrigation projects that are already in the pipeline amounting to P550 million.

MRDP Deputy Program Director Arnel de Mesa in an interview said the local chief executives had formalized their participation again in the MRDP projects through a Memorandum of Agreement even as Mesa said that the activity yesterday, July 15 was their fifth in the island. The last leg will be with the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao which will be held in Zamboanga City this week.

Mesa said MRDP got positive responses from the local government units with regards to the implementation of the MRDP Phase II with fund component of US$83.75 million. The MRDP II will run from July 2007 to July 2012.

"There was a lull for one year because they have to resolve the 70:30 sharing where lgus place 70 percent of the total cost of the project as counterpart and only 30 percent will be sourced out from the foreign assisted fund", he said.

The towns chief executives lobbied for the change in the cost sharing through several resolutions they submitted that made the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) issued its approval that was concurred with the agreement reached during the inter-agency meeting of the senior officials of the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in April 2008 on MRDP rural infrastructure (RI) component. These include construction and rehabilitation of communal irrigation projects, farm-to-market roads, potable water supply and single lane bridges.

He said the projects will have counterpart funds from World Bank through grants.

Although Mesa said that with the exchange rate now, there could be a change in the figure, however, they are set to implement the lined up projects.

He said the lgus could propose as many projects for as long as they have the money for counterpart saying that they want them to come up with projects like the FMR to link to production areas.

He also said that these projects are for the poorest of the poor municipalities and province of Mindanao and that they envision to see a complete package that will benefit especially the poor in the community.

The project also has a livelihood component for as low as P10,000 and a maximum of P250,000. (PIA) [top]

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