C. Luzon sees huge boost in rural agri-fishery through PRDP
With the aim for a robust, market-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fishery sector, the Central Luzon, through the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project – Regional Project Coordination Office 3 (PRDP-RPCO3), continues to shift to a more progressive road as reflected in the highlights and accomplishments of the region for the year 2016.
The PRDP, a six-year World Bank-funded Project is designed to aide rural farmers and fisherfolk increase their income and quality of life through infrastructures and enterprises proposed by local government units. Under the Project are components and units scrupulously reviewing and assessing the viability of project proposals in service of the rural countrymen and their clamour for better access roads, facilities and enterprises.
Nine VCAs approved under the planning component
Under the I-PLAN component, the Project aims to enhance the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan through science-based tools and to harmonize regional and provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan through the formulation of the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) using Value Chain Analysis (VCA).
As of December 29, 2016, the region has identified a total of 18 commodities for VCA, nine of which have already been issued with the No Objection Letter 1 by the National Project Coordination Office (NPCO), namely, Ampalaya, Tilapia, Onion, Sweet Potato, Aromatic and Pigmented Rice, Coconut (Coir), Dried Sardines, Goat and Dairy Buffalo.
Six VCAs are still under review of the NPCO, one is under finalization to include the NPCO comments and the remaining two are under the process of data gathering and writing of reports.
All seven provinces have endorsed their respective Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIP) and have obtained approval from the Provincial Development Council (PDC) or Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
Currently, provincial project management and implementing units (PPMIU) are looking into including additional commodities, except for Pampanga which concentrates in tilapia and cassava commodities.
To institutionalize the overall reforms of the DA, the planning component of the region have also conducted various activities designed to enhance the effectiveness and coverage of the DA’s program in support to a more competitive agriculture sector through partnerships with LGUs and the private sector, as well as addressing the poverty that still pervades many agricultural and fishery areas of the country.
San Jose FMR now completed, 2 other SPs under implementation
The San Juan-Villa Joson- Porais Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in San Jose, Nueva Ecija is now completed, serving 1,432 household beneficiaries who are mostly vegetable farmers. With a total cost of P50,214,901.24 and length of 5.17 kilometers, the FMR serves as the first completed PRDP subproject of Central Luzon.
In Bulacan, the Bubulong Malake-Bulusukan-Bubulong Munti-Bohol na Manga FMR in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, with a total length of 9.81 kilometers is now 71.627% completed and will benefit 1,617 households and vegetable farmers.
The 2.95-km Basang Hamog-Pantoc-Bulac FMR in Talavera, Nueva Ecija is on its 30.61% physical accomplishment and will benefit 974 households who are mostly onion farmers.
From the total portfolio of the infrastructure component of RPCO3, 59.26% are Farm to Market Roads (FMRs), 3.70% are FMRs with bridge, 1.85% are Communal Irrigation Systems, 16.67% are Civil Works and 18.52%, fall under other infrastructures.
23 SPs were approved and issued with the no objection letter (NOL) 1 amounting to P498.66 million, while nine SPs amounting to P561.21 million pesos are awaiting approval.
The Infrastructure component of the PRDP or I-BUILD primarily seeks to improve the links from production areas to markets to enhance the efficiency of transporting agricultural products.
142 enterprise proposals approved, 1 awaiting implementation
The Project’s enterprise component, known as the I-REAP aims to engage broad sections of the sector in the production of marketable surplus through investments in strategic segments of priority commodity value chains and strengthening collaboration between DA and the Local Government Units.
P250.3 million worth of enterprise proposals were identified and being reviewed by the region, totalling to 146 subprojects.
142 of these SPs have been approved and issued with the NOL1, and three are under SP development.
The SIKKAP San Jose Enterprise has successfully been issued with the NOL2 and is on its final stages prior to actual implementation.
The region has also pipelined 12 enterprise-based projects for the improvement of the industry for the commodities of ampalaya, onion, mango, coconut, sardines, goat, sweet potato and cassava in the region. A total 134 subprojects are identified as Small Livelihood Subprojects (SLPs) which are designed to help Typhoon Lando-affected farmers.
For the year 2016, RPCO3 has conducted two Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) meetings resulting to 89 approved enterprises amounting to P241,452,791 million. The RPAB shall be created through a Special Order from the Office of the Secretary of the DA and chaired by the DA Regional Executive Director.
Efficiency of implementation through technical support
The M&E Unit, in cooperation with the components and units, maintains a Project Management Information System (PMIS) that can be updated anytime and can be viewed by the Management from time to time.
In compliance to this, 196 of the 200 subprojects of both I-BUILD and I-REAP have been geotagged and uploaded to the PMIS. The remaining four subprojects have yet to be updated, namely the Sto. Rosario Cutcut FMR with Bridge, Kalayakan – Domoron- Talampasi FMR, Balaong FMR with Bridge and Siling Matanda FMR.
For the region’s financing, a total of P29,578,450 was transferred for the implementation of the project in Central Luzon. 81.88% or about P24,219,597.74 was obligated while 79.2% or P23,447,004 was disbursed.
With the goal to provide efficient and effective project management and implementation, the I-SUPPORT component establishes a standard on services and technical assistance and effective mode of engagement with LGUs. It consists of different units such as Administrative Unit, Geomapping and Governance Unit (GGU), Finance Unit, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (M&E), Procurement, Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES), and the Information, Advocacy, Communication and Education (InfoACE) Unit. (Kayla Arceo and Dianne Lapuz, DA-PRDP North Luzon InfoACE Unit)