P2 B worth of PRDP fund goes to CAR

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Nearly P2 billion of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the largest World Bank-funded project in the country, will go straight to Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) this year.

Based on the first quarter monitoring and evaluation status report on PRDP projects this year, as much as P1.6 billion of PRDP fund will go to Ifugao and Kalinga alone.

In CAR, the province of Ifugao is now the top grosser in terms of total approved sub-projects funded under PRDP, which is a project being implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The total approved sub-project cost for this province has particularly reached P829 million, while there are P774 million worth of approved sub-projects in Kalinga.

Launched in 2013, the DA's PRDP began as a farm-to-market road (FMR) initiative and was eventually expanded to cover several livelihood components meant to improve the lives of agriculture workers in the country.

Last year, the project was injected with additional fund worth P8 billion on top of its existing budget of P27 billion, which had already ran out.

The latest report on PRDP shows that there is now 18 approved infrastructure sub-projects worth more than P802 million in Ifugao alone and four enterprise sub-projects worth more than P27 million.

The infrastructure sub-projects approved for Ifugao are composed of six farm-to-market roads (FMRs), one slope protection, five potable water systems (PWS), and nine communal irrigation systems (CIS).

In terms of enterprises, the province also tops the total sub-project cost in the region albeit having only four approved sub-projects under this component.

These are livelihood projects on swine raising worth P1 million, cattle fattening and marketing worth P1 million, coffee processing and marketing enterprise worth more than P13 million, and the processing of export quality Ifugao Heirloom Rice worth more than P11 million.

The report further showed that there are no more enterprise sub-project in the pipeline for the province, but there are a number of infrastructure projects pending approval.

Being the top grosser in terms of sub-project costs, the province of Ifugao, especially the municipality of Banaue, has contributed to the present status of CAR, with the highest approved total project cost and second in terms of total number of sub-projects for the whole Luzon A Cluster (CAR, Regions 1, 2, and 3).