NEDA Board okays PRDP’s expansion
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, has approved this week the proposed expansion of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
This milestone comes after the endorsement from the NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee last September for the proposed $450-million (P20.9-billion) expansion of the World Bank-assisted project.
The additional financing being sought from the Bank will primarily address the shortage for the Project’s ‘healthy’ infrastructure development subproject pipeline.
This pipeline includes subproject proposals that have already complied with the PRDP’s requirements such as feasibility study, detailed engineering design, program of work, and social and environmental safeguards instruments.
The PRDP projects that loan proceeds for infrastructure would be fully committed in 2016, fully obligated by December 2016 and fully disbursed by June 2019. Without assured available funding from the national government after this year, the Project can no longer commit to fund the rest of pipelined infrastructure subproject proposals.
But according to the PRDP management, on top of accommodating proposals and reaching more communities to benefit from the Project’s infrastructure and enterprise development interventions, the proposed expansion also means partnering with and influencing more local government units (LGUs).
“This means expanding our reach and consolidating institutional reforms being introduced by the project,” DA Undersecretary for Operations and PRDP National Project Director Ariel Cayanan, said.
“Expanding the PRDP means expanding reforms that we have been advocating within and outside the Department,” Cayanan said.
Arnel de Mesa, the Project’s National Deputy Project Director meanwhile said that the proposed expansion will sustain the commitment of LGUs to execute these reforms.
“The LGUs will do reforms together with the DA and the PRDP will be the instrument to do these,” de Mesa said.
He likewise stressed that it is through the PRDP that commitments from LGUs can be further secured to advance the cause for good governance and transparency as it presents empirical examples such as the use applied geotagging technology in monitoring.
“We can [vigorously] innovate and propose changes because of the PRDP,” de Mesa added.
With NEDA’s final nod, the PRDP is now complying with other required documents and outputs by the government for the DA to be finally proceed with the negotiations with the World Bank next year.
The DA targets to secure the Workd Bank Board’s approval of the proposed expansion in July 2017. ### (Jan P. Dacumos , DA-PRDP NPCO InfoACE Unit , Photo courtesy of DA-RFO 2 RAFIS)