Finish MRDP projects by year-end

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


OFFICIALS of the Mindanao Development Rural Program 2 (MRDP 2) reminded local government units yesterday that on-going and to be implemented projects funded by the program should be completed by December 2014.

The MRDP 2 is implemented under the Department of Agriculture (DA) and jointly funded by the World Bank (WB), the national government, and the LGUs. The program "seeks to further improve rural income and achieve food security through agri-fisheries infrastructure, livelihood enterprise, and biodiversity conservation projects."

DA Sec. Proceso J. Alcala said in a press conference yesterday at the Grand Regal Hotel that MRDP will end by December 31, 2014 and they are now making sure that the budget will go to the right projects.

Felizado K. Virtucio Jr., WB task team leader for MRDP 2, said they will only fund projects that can be completed before the year ends.

Alcala said the team of deputy program director Arnel V. de Mesa will be checking on the projects to evaluate if these are on track.

He said unfinished projects will mean wasted money and the funds are not properly utilized.

"As early as now, we have to identify what projects or proposals can be finished on or before December 31. For eaxample, kung hindi matatapos by then, kakausapin namin ang mayor or LGUs at sabihin sa kanila hanggang 90% (funding) nalang sila," Alcala said.

He said the remaining 10% will be reallocated in other existing proposals of the Philippine Rural Developmen Plan (PRDP) that have undergone proper evaluation and complete process for approval. Alcala said if the PRDP project is done this year it will be counted as an MRDP 2 project.

"This is so that no money from the budget will be wasted," Alcala said.

Mesa said they will employ the geo-tagging tool to monitor the projects. Geo-tagging is a web-based technology that makes use of attaching location-specific information like GPS coordinates to pictures, videos, and SMS messages. According to WB the tool "promotes efficient management of community-driven projects in remote and conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.”

"Right now we are coming up with sustainability mechanisms that need to be put in place to ensure that the projects and reforms under the MRDP 2 will continue even if there is no more funding from the program," Alcala said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 19, 2014.

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