The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Wednesday it may request “not less than $500 million” in additional funding from the World Bank for the implementation of its flagship rural development program.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said some P5.3 billion in projects under the P27.5-billion Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) have already been approved, with more local government units wanting to be included in the program.
“In fact, the projects in the pipeline have already reached [a total of]P13 billion,” Alcala said.
Alcala, however, said that they still have to review the proposed projects to determine the additional funding needed.
“But before we make a new request to the World Bank, we still have to monitor LGU proposals. Everything will depend on their business plans,” he said.
“We may be requesting not less than $500 million from them,” he added.
The DA chief said the World Bank is very happy with the turnout of the PRDP, as it received a positive and very satisfactory review during a mission conducted in February.
PRDP, the upscale version of the recently concluded Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP), is a six-year government platform designed to help create an inclusive, value chain-oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
The initiative is administered by the DA and jointly funded by the World Bank, national government and local government units. The financial package, which aims to increase rural incomes and alleviate poverty, is intended for rural infrastructure as well as small business and livelihood projects for farmers and fisherfolk.
Alcala urged LGUs to partner with the DA and submit a business plan addressing development of their respective communities’ priority commodities.
“We recognize the importance of collaboration with the LGU, World Bank, national agencies and other stakeholders for the successful implementation of the project,” he said, stressing that the project would not be successful if DA had to do it alone.