Agri department: Lower LGU counterparts for Charm 2-A A +A
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
MORE agriculture infrastructure projects are expected to start in the Cordillera region, Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said.
Alcala announced a greater possibility of reduced counterpart funding for local government units (LGUs) that wish to undertake agri-infrastructure projects through the Cordillera Highland Agriculture Resource Management (Charm) 2.
Alcala said Charm 2 will take off faster, following the approval from the National Economic and Development Authority for a reduced equity.
He said only around 15 to 20 percent equity will now be given for LGUs with agriculture-related project proposals.
Alcala said majority of these projects are farm-to-market roads, which were controversial in past implementation.
More small water impounding facilities, especially in the Cordillera will also be started in the next few years, he added.
Charm 2 Chairman doctor Cameron Odsey said, as of last month, project proposals were submitted to their office but these are for small projects only.
But with this welcome development, Odsey said bigger projects such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation and post-harvest facilities will soon come into fruition.
Second phase of Charm will cover 37 towns in six provinces in the region to reduce poverty and improve quality of life for rural indigenous peoples' communities through development projects that would take seven years with an estimated total cost of US$66.4 million.
Earlier this month, governors and representatives from the region, in a resolution, requested for a reduced counterpart funding for the projects they wish to initiate.
Funding for the project will be sourced out by the agency through loans from International Fund for Agricultural Development, Asian Development Bank, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Fund for International Development.
Recently, the project was also rated as moderately satisfactory by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The team's ratings meant implementers and stakeholders need to do more with better results. (JM Agreda)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 20, 2011.