CALABARZON’s food basket leads in PRDP’s infrastructure, enterprise development
Quezon province, the food basket of South Luzon, is the biggest recipient of infrastructure and enterprise interventions from the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in the region.
The province, with majority of total land area (59%) allotted to agriculture, cornered P1.58 billion-worth of on-going subprojects or 85% of the total portfolio for the region. Moreover, based on the data released by the PRDP – National Project Coordination Office (NPCO) in February 2018, Quezon ranks first among provinces with infrastructure subprojects and second among provinces with enterprise subprojects nationwide.
Aside from the provincial government, 19 local government units in Quezon province partnered with PRDP and have subprojects undergoing implementation.
For Infrastructure Development (I-BUILD) component, the province has P1.47 billion-worth of 15 ongoing farm-to-market roads (FMR) subprojects. The longest FMR being constructed in the region located in Guinayangan, Quezon is almost (88.21%) accomplished. The 18.81 kilometer FMR transects barangays Manggagawa and Capuluan Central.
Under the Enterprise Development (I-REAP) component, the province has P101.88 million-worth of 19 ongoing subprojects of micro, small, and medium enterprises. The biggest enterprise nationwide is located in Pagbilao, Quezon. The P55.9 million-worth processing facility for Virgin Coconut Oil of the Quezon Federation and Union of Cooperatives has already been approved by the World Bank and is now in the procurement process.
“Isang napakagandang challenge na ibinigay sa amin ng Department of Agriculture ‘yong mapasama at mapili kami sa PRDP. We have 124 primary cooperatives and almost 60% of them ay mayroong coconut farmers program. Makakatulong kami doon sa magsasaka in the form of, ibang klase naman ‘to, virgin coconut oil, hindi ‘yong puro kopra (Being part of the PRDP is both a challenge and an opportunity given by the Department of Agriculture. We have 124 primary cooperatives and almost 60% of them have coconut farmers program. Aside from copra, we can help them through virgin coconut oil production),” QFUC Chief Executive Officer Pelagia Mendones said about their project.
Among other provinces in the region, only Quezon has Global Environment Facility (GEF) sites. Agdangan, Quezon will rehabilitate the Bahurang Silag Fish Sanctuary in the Tayabas Bay as well as support two seaweeds microenterprises in the town.
All of the abovementioned subprojects are anchored to the priority commodities identified in the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) through the Value Chain Analysis (VCA) developed by the Local and Regional Planning (I-PLAN) component. These include virgin coconut oil, dairy cattle, cacao, banana, pineapple, seaweeds, mango, abaca, and lowland vegetables. Additional commodities will also be identified.
Other provinces in the region also benefitted from PRDP. Batangas province comes second with P167.81 million for six subprojects; followed by Laguna with P106.52 million for three subprojects; and Cavite with P12.73 million for one subproject. ### (Lawrence Albert A. Bariring, DA-PRDP CALABARZON RPCO InfoACE Unit)