THE board of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has approved seven new road projects that will connect farms and markets in the Visayas, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said over the weekend.
DA Regional Field Office Director Roy Abaya said that the seven farm-to-market road (FMR) subprojects – with a total length of 49 kilometers –will be constructed in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Aklan.
The FMR subprojects, worth a total of P481.1 million, were approved on May 8.
They include the rehabilitation of the Gomez-Zamora FMR (P32 million) in Pontevedra; rehabilitation of the Hinicayan-Violeta FMR in Silay City (P100 million); and the rehabilitation of the Crossing Martinez-Sto. Intaplan FMR in Sagay City (P36.59 million), all located in Negros Occidental.
For Iloilo, the approved subprojects include the rehabilitation of the Parara-Jamog FMR in Tigbauan (P75.75 million); rehabilitation of Poblacion-Tacuyong Norte FMR in Leon (P113.45 million); and rehabilitation of Gines-Inagdangan Norte FMR in Zarraga (P23.59 million).
Projects in Aklan include the rehabilitation and improvement of the 12.74 km Banga-Libacao Road and Bridges worth P99.72 milion. The said bridges connecting the road from the municipalities of Banga and Libacao, Aklan were destroyed by Typhoons Frank and Yolanda that struck the country in 2008 and 2013, respectively.
Abaya said the PRDP aims to reduce average travel time from farm to markets by half through the construction of more FMRs, which will also improve traffic count by at least 60 percent.
The proposed FMRs in the Visayas, however, will be subjected to another level of review for funding from the PRDP.
During the first review, Abaya emphasized that “the proponent must clearly show the linkage between the FMR and its enterprise component.”
Under the PRDP, FMRs and other infrastructures to be constructed are aimed as support structures to the enterprise activities in their respective areas.
PRDP is a six-year project under the Department of Agriculture that aims to establish a modern, inclusive, value-chain oriented, and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector.
The PRDP will fund 90 percent of the project cost of these FMRs, while LGUs will provide a 10 percent equity.
Earlier, the DA said it may request additional funding from the World Bank for the implementation of its flagship rural development program.
“In fact, the projects in the pipeline have already reached P13 billion, and more local government units are waiting to be included,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said.
The DA chief stated that the WB was very happy with the turnout of the PRDP as it received a positive and very satisfactory review during a mission conducted in February.
Manila is looking at another $500 million funding from the World Bank, Alcala said. JAMES