$170M PRDP Additional Financing takes effect
During the 6th World Bank Implementation Support Mission in Luzon A Cluster held at Hotel Venezia, Subic, Zambales on 28-30 May 2018, National Deputy Project Director Engr. Cirilo Namoc announced that the $170 million additional financing for the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) takes effect starting May 23, 2018.
The loan effectivity is a very much anticipated news for local government units (LGUs) with proposals that are yet to be issued with No Objection Letter, as well as LGUs with approved subprojects and are only awaiting the additional financing, and the LGUs that are still preparing proposals for funding under the Project.
Requiring only 10 percent counterpart from LGUs, the PRDP sold like hotcakes and the original loan of $500 million from the World Bank was almost fully obligated by the end of 2017. Foreseeing the exhaustion of the first loan by midterm implementation of the Project, the Government of the Philippines proposed and negotiated for the additional financing as early as May 2017.
Under the additional financing, the PRDP will continue to fund infrastructure subprojects with emphasis on post-harvest facilities, communal irrigation systems, potable water systems, and other infrastructures. Funding of Farm to Market Roads (FMR) will also be considered given the proposal passes the prioritization scheme on infrastructure subprojects.
The loan agreement does not include funding for the planning and the enterprise components of the Project. However, World Bank PRDP Task Team Leader Frauke Jungbluth clarified that the funding of activities under the planning and enterprise components will still be supported by the additional financing through the I-SUPPORT component although it was not stipulated in the additional financing agreement.
The PRDP is the largest agricultural venture of the Government at present. Among others, it is aimed to establish a modern, climate-smart, and market-oriented agriculture within six (6) years. Specifically, it aims to increase the income of direct farmer beneficiaries by 5 percent annually; increase the value of marketed output by 7 percent; and increase the access of farmers to DA services by 20 percent. With the effectivity of the additional funding, the PRDP is seen to extend until 2023. ### Vida V. Cacal and Dessa U. Estrada, RPCO 1 InfoACE