• DA body approves P1.5-B Bicol projects

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    LEGAZPI CITY: The Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) for Bicol of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has approved various subprojects worth P1.5 billion for funding and implementation this year in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.

    Approved by the RPAB during a recent meeting held here are 13 subprojects for the three provinces under the Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) component of the project.

    Among the subprojects are the P618.6-million construction of Tablon-Cagmanaba Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) with five bridges in Oas, Albay, and the concreting of FMRs in the municipalities of Paracale, Basud and Sta. Elena – all in Camarines Norte – amounting to P413.8 million.

    Apart from these, the RPAB also endorsed for funding this year seven I-BUILD subprojects worth a total of P452 million for the municipalities of Pamplona, Del Gallego, Pasacao, Libmanan, Sipocot and Ragay—all in Camarines Sur.

    The RPAB is the body that provides guidance, reviews and approves undertakings for funding under PRDP, a six-year rural development project worth over P27.5 billion funded through a loan from the World Bank amounting to P20.56 billion. The PRDP is also funded by a P7-billion counterpart from the Philippine government and local government units.

    In six years, or 2013-2019, PRDP aims to raise annual real farm incomes of household beneficiaries by 5.0 percent, increase the value of annual marketed output by 7.0 percent, and ensure that 20 percent more farmers and fishers benefit from DA services.

    In a statement on Thursday, Elena de los Santos, the DA Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension and PRDP focal person, said the newly-approved subprojects are the first batch of proposals submitted by the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Units (PPMIUs) in Bicol for 2015.

    The RPAB is composed of DA Regional Executive Director for Bicol Abelardo Bragas as chairman, and a representative of the League of Provinces in the region as vice-chair.

    The approved sub-projects, according to De los Santos, will be endorsed to the Project Support Office for South Luzon of PRDP for issuance of No Objection Letter 1.

    She said Bicol, which boasts of the largest agricultural area among the country’s 17 regions, was awarded last year the largest share of farm support infrastructure projects under the PRDP’s I-BUILD component worth over P600 million.

    PNA

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