Region 10 Holds 9th WB Support Mission
Cagayan de Oro – The PRDP Mindanao Cluster wrapped up the 9th World Bank Support Implementation Mission last November 13 after conducting a simultaneous site inspection of I-REAP and I-BUILD sub-projects the previous day in Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental respectively. The two-day activity culminated in a project assessment and plenary led by the World Bank Team and attended by representatives from the Project Support Office (PSO) Mindanao, Regional Project Coordinating Offices (RPCOs), and National Project Coordination Office (NPCO).
RPCO 10, which was this mission’s host region, welcomed the participants to the two-day activity at the New Dawn City Hotel in Cagayan de Oro where a mini exhibit showcased what PRDP Mindanao Cluster has achieved so far in its fifth year of operation.
At the plenary sessions, WB team task leader and Senior Agricultural Economist Eli Weiss commended the efforts that went into making this support mission possible. He also went on to commend what PRDP as a group has done to the communities in the cluster.
“PRDP really had a transformational impact – before PRDP and after PRDP with their investments as they are,” said Weiss. “Obviously, there are several challenges but what we have seen so far is that with investments and technical assistance, this project can help out a lot.”
Eli Weiss was part of the bigger I-REAP team that visited the “Seaweed Semi-processing and Marketing Enterprise” at Simbuco Aqua-Marine Multipurpose Cooperative (SAMMPC) in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte. Joining him on the team were other World Bank consultants Luningning Bondoc, Tomas Sta. Maria, Ernie Monteverde, and Agnes Deshormes. Also on the team were RPCO 10 Project Director Carlene C. Collado, Regional Technical Director Carmelita Bajarla, PRDP Mindanao Deputy Project Director Engr. Danilo Alesna, I-REAP Mindanao Head Ronnie Yulo, DA Assistant Secretary-designate for Operations Agribusiness & Marketing Dr. Andrew Villacorta, and OIC National Deputy Project Director Shandy Hubilla along with other members of RPCO 10, NPCO and PSO Mindanao.
PRDP recently turned-over a P3.34-M hauling truck to SAMMPC as part of their P9 million seaweeds semi-processing and marketing project which aims to boost the seaweed enterprise in Lanao del Norte. The enterprise sub-project will benefit the 189 members of the cooperative in Simbuco, Kolambugan and is aiming to extend assistance to seaweed farmers in their surrounding communities.
A second team visited the I-BUILD sub-project site at the Dolipos Alto-Dullan Norte Farm to Market Road in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental led by WB Infrastructure Consultant Engr. Raoul Azanza and WB Social Safeguards Specialist Jonas Bautista. Also on the team were the National Project Coordination Office (NPCO) Social and Environmental Safeguards Unit head Angelita Martir, IBUILD head Engr. Ericson Mammag, and Alternate GGU Head Joseph Pacon; Regional Project Coordination Office 10 (RPCO 10) I-BUILD head Pedro Vergado Jr., and Monitoring and Evaluation Unit head Lana May Racines; Project Support Office Mindanao I-BUILD Head Ma. Fe Gabunales; and Misamis Occidental Governor Philip Tan and Oroquieta Mayor Lemuel Meyrick M. Acosta.
The P55 million infrastructure project is aimed at reducing transport time from 40 to 20 minutes as well as reduce transportation losses of banana, cassava, corn, copra, cacao, abaca, and rubber in the area. The farm-to-market road is aimed at benefitting the 755 households and 669 farmers & fisherfolk families in the community.
During the site visit feedbacking, Infrastructure Consultant Engr. Azanza and SES specialist Jonas Bautista praised the infrastructure project stating that minus a few concerns, the implementation was mostly positive and was proceeding according to plan.
In his Mindanao Cluster Achievement Report, PRDP Mindanao Deputy Project Director Engr. Danila Alesna stated that PRDP interventions contributed to an average real household income of P129,824.73 or a 35% increase over baseline real household incomes in farmers and fisher folk beneficiaries. Alesna also reported an increase in all PRDP supported commodities such as coconut, banana, coffee, cacao and rubber. Also as a result of PRDP interventions, of the 102,833 households in the Mindanao Cluster, 462,778 individuals gained access to improved agricultural services such as rural infrastructures, potable water, irrigation facilities, and other basic services such as health care and electricity.
The 9th World Bank Implementation Support Mission ended with presentations made by each of the component groups and units comprising PRDP Mindanao Cluster reporting the accomplishments they have done so far as well as challenges they will tackle as PRDP moves forward toward its sixth year. (Joseph John Palarca)