Sunday, June 05, 2011

$16M anti-poverty fund released in Mindanao: MRDP

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 5, 2011) - The anti-poverty program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has spent multimillion dollars to uplift lives in rural Mindanao, officials said Sunday.

Entering its mid-term, the DA’s Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) has disbursed a total of $16.05 million for its projects ranging from infrastructure, livelihoods, environmental protection and local governance reform.

The said amount is 19.71 percent of the Program’s $83.752 loan portfolio from the World Bank.

MRDP is a five-year Program jointly funded the WB, plus the counterpart equity of the national government unit and local government units with a total Program funding of $123.652 million. The program is implemented across the six regions of Mindanao covering 225 of the 420 towns and cities.

Lealyn Ramos, Program Director, in a report to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, noted that the Rural Infrastructure (RI) component of the program has a total portfolio of P10.812 million with 970 subprojects at various stages of implementation.

RI completed a total of 160.44 kilometers from the 52 farm-to-market roads projects amounting P222.26 million; nine bridges with a total length of 83.60 meters; one irrigation project servicing 100-hectare rice field; nine units of potable water systems and 3 units of solar driers with warehouses.

The livelihood arm of the Program, the Community Fund for agricultural Development (CFAD), got a total portfolio of P495.51 million spent in food security interventions, community managed livelihoods and small support infrastructure.

Of the amount, P149.62 million for 671 agri-based enterprises; P85.34 million for 365 livelihoods are on-going and 953 projects amounting P260.56 million are ready for implementation.

The Natural Resources Management (NRM) component that focuses on environmental protection and conservation activities in critical food production has completed seven on-the-round investments (OGI) amounting P13.318 million; 24 OGIs worth P44.409 million are on-going; 11 OGIs worth P19.203 are ready for implementation.

Other spending was devoted to trainings for the improvement of local governance, capacity building of the people’s organizations and program management.

“We have benefited thousands of households and individuals. In our CFAD alone, we have extended assistance to at approximately 50,000 individuals and about 30 percent of them belong to indigenous peoples organizations, considered to be the most marginalized sector.”

“We are now seeing the impact of the collaborative efforts of DA, our partner agencies like DENR, NCIP, BFAR, BSWM, and especially the local government units who are at the frontline of implementations,” Ramos said.(Sherwin Manual)

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