PRDP joint assessment conducted, eyes speedy disbursement of Cordillera SPs

Date Published: October 31, 2019

“This is the year where a significant number of subprojects (SPs) should be completed and also a significant amount should be disbursed.”

This was stressed by Cameron P. Odsey, OIC Regional Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera in his message during the Joint Assessment of the Regional Project Coordination Office – CAR and the Provincial and Municipal Project Management and Implementing Units (P/MPMIUs) held on October 24-25 in Baguio City.

The activity convened implementing partners from the local government units to strategize for the improvement of project disbursement. The assessment specifically intended to set timelines and gather commitments from both the regional and provincial levels.

“This Project should already be completed by 2020 but adjustments were made which prompted its extension until 2022 through additional financing,” said Odsey.

He further made emphasis on the large number of approved subprojects in CAR but are delayed in terms of implementation which affects disbursement.

“We have a lot of subprojects in CAR that were approved and were issued with No Objection Letter (NOL) but we also have a lot of subprojects that are six months, or some a year or more that are delayed. As such, our projections with the disbursement of funds was affected and we have to work double in order to catch up,” stressed Odsey.

PRDP Project Support Office Luzon A Deputy Project Director Elma S. Mananes presented the results of the recent Cabinet Committee meeting regarding the request for the Project’s Additional Financing (AF) and possible extension.

In her presentation, Mananes informed the participants that the two-year extension of the PRDP (original loan and first AF) was approved but the use of Forex (Foreign Exchange) differential was not granted. She also said that the clearance for the second tranche of the AF amounting to USD 280 million was deferred due to the Project’s low disbursement performance.

“It was already approved by the World Bank but the decision of the Philippine Government is conditional unless we will increase our disbursement within six months. However, the PRDP management decided to accelerate disbursement by three months in order to guarantee its approval,” she said.

Mananes further discussed some of the implications if the AF (second tranche) will not be approved. She then advised the RPCO and the local government units to focus on accelerating disbursement as directed by the National Project Director of the PRDP, USec Ariel Cayanan.

With this, the provincial LGUs had a workshop together with their RPCO counterparts to set practical timelines and commitments to fast track disbursement of funds for ongoing PRDP subprojects.

As a result of the workshop, a total of P342.15 million from the infrastructure and enterprise subprojects in CAR was targeted to be disbursed by the end of December 2019 – P159.47 from the original loan and P182.68 from the AF for I-BUILD subprojects.

Implementing partners were then advised to coordinate with subproject contractors and suppliers in order to facilitate the immediate processing of billing documents.

Beyond these commitments, the LGUs are hopeful for the approval of the AF so that all the ongoing subprojects in their provinces will be completed and efforts will not be wasted. ### ELVY S. TAQUIO (DA PRDP RPCO-CAR INFOACE UNT)

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