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PIA Press Release

WB calls more LGUs to avail of agri program

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (25 March) -- World Bank urges more qualified local government units to avail of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) as it holds its second phase of program implementation.

MRDP program director Lealyn Ramos bared that only half of the qualified LGUs in Mindanao have participated and availed the program.

MRDP, a World Bank-funded 5-year program, is now on its second phase of implementation aiming to increase income of farmers, capacitating women and indigenous people, and enhancing local governance and environmental protection.

Of the 225 municipalities that are allowed to avail of the 50 percent grant for World Bank through MRDP, only 118 towns participated.

The lack of participation was caused by the 50-50 scheme followed by MRDP. Ramos said that some LGUs do not have enough financial capacity to carry out the equity share of the LGU.

"They can actually source out their equity share from the provincial government or the district representative if the municipality really lacks the money to put in as their counterpart share," she added.

The program on its 3rd year of implementation and despite an 18-month lag has accomplished over 131 million worth of agricultural infrastructure of which close to 66 kilometers of farm to market roads have been established, 39 linear meters of bridge and four units of potable water systems.

Ongoing projects of the program still amount to P271 million for the rural infrastructure and P14 million for the community fund for agricultural development.

The World Bank team is now conducting site visit and assessment in the participating areas in Mindanao to review the antipoverty program of the Department of Agriculture.

The team will assess the impact of these agricultural infrastructure projects, livelihood, governance reform and environmental projects under the MRDP.

It hopes to see attainment of the two program objectives which are to provide livelihood opportunities to these areas and institutionalize a decentralized system for the delivery of agricultural services. (PIA XI) [top]

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