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The Philippine Rural Development Program

The National Economic and Development Authority and the Cabinet of the Aquino Administration have approved the allocation of P27.54 billion for the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), a special program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for inclusive growth and for creating a weather-resilient agri-fishery sector.

The approved funding includes P20.55 billion in loans from the World Bank, P3.58 billion as national government counterpart, P3.12 billion in equity from local government units (LGUs), and P287-million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The PRDP, to be implemented in the second half of 2013, includes the construction of farm-to-market roads, ports, irrigation facilities, potable water systems, postharvest and marketing facilities, and farming-related structures. It would be implemented over six years, covering 80 provinces in 16 regions. It will initially cover the regions of Calabarzon (Region IV-A), Mimaropa (IV-B), Bicol Region (V), Western Visayas (VI), Central Visayas (VII), and Eastern Visayas (VIII), as well as Mindanao, specifically South Cotabato, now covered by the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP), another DA project that assists farmers in 225 Mindanao towns.

The PRDP is composed of four components: Investments in agri/fishery modernization planning at local regional/national levels (I-PLAN), intensified infrastructure and logistics development (I-BUILD), investments in rural enterprises and agri/fishery productivity (I-REAP), and implementation support services (I-SUPPORT). It is expected to contribute to the attainment of the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) through the construction and rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems covering 30,206 hectares, or 6.91 percent of total FSSP irrigation target of 437,077 hectares by 2016.

We congratulate the National Economic and Development Authority, headed by Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, and the Cabinet of the Philippines, led by Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras, other Officers and Personnel, in their coordinated undertakings to create opportunities and generate employments in the rural areas in the Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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