Officials push inclusion of all Mindanao areas in dev't program-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
INCLUDE all of Mindanao.
This was the plea of Mindanao officials to the Department of Agriculture (DA) as it proposes the $627-million Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).
PRDP is said to be the "upscale" of five-year Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP), government’s antipoverty program implemented by DA and funded by a $83.75-million World Bank (WB) loan, and about $40-million worth of counterpart from the Philippine government and local government units (LGUs).
Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) Chairperson Secretary Luwalhati Antonino said that if there is a region that needs and deserves most of the help it is Mindanao as it has experienced decades of neglect.
"Mindanao contributes significantly to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) thus it deserves to receive all the possible help it can get from the National Government," Antonino said.
Antonio who is also the co-chair of MRDP’s Program Advisory Board (PAB) said that majority of the poor are living in the rural areas of Mindanao and they are the core target of MRDP and PRDP.
At present, MRDP is operating in 225 of the 420 towns in all of Mindanao’s 26 provinces. The PRDP proposes to maintain the coverage area in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario further pushed the proposal of Antonino when he presented during the 8th World Bank Implementation Support mission kick-off in Quezon City the resolution of the PAB reiterating the body’s position to include all LGUs in Mindanao.
Del Rosario said the basic design of MRDP as part of the Adaptable Program Loan facility of the WB is supposed to cover all of Mindanao in its phase-3.
Del Rosario, also a PAB member representing the league of governors quoted the resolution that PRDP has substantial fund to cover all the LGUs of Mindanao which has already expressed their intent to be part of MRDP and have already prepared their project proposals.
To date, MRDP has already received from at least 50 LGUs expressing intent to be part of the MRDP and has already prepared proposals over P6 billion worth of agricultural infrastructure.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said although the plans of PRDP have been drafted, he would take into consideration the proposal of the PAB.
"We shall see how this will work but in essence all of Mindanao will be covered in PRDP since it will cover all 26 provinces," Alcala said.
The PAB resolution was unanimously approved by the other PAB members including its chairman DA Undersecretary Joel Rudinas, Aleosan Mayor Loreto Cabaya representing the Leagues of Mayors in Mindanao, RAFC 12 chair Mabini Manalo and representatives from Environment department and NCIP. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 09, 2012.