The North Luzon cluster is the second leg visited by the World Bank after South Luzon, to be followed by Visayas and Mindanao, respectively. The next mission visit is set to be scheduled on November this year. (Photos by Jonnel Castillo, Sanne Ray Soro and Kayla Lingad)

World Bank lauds PRDP implementation in North Luzon

Date Published: June 6, 2018

A team of experts from the World Bank led by Frauke Jungbluth, lead agriculture economist and task team leader headed to the province of Bataan for the semestral World Bank Implementation Support Mission on May 28-30, 2018.

Now on its 6th mission activity for the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) since 2015, the World Bank met with the project’s regional, cluster and national offices to visit the implementation of selected ongoing subprojects, and to review the general achievements of the cluster.

“We are in the stage of the project where we are shifting from trying to get things started, to making sure things are actually working well and are sustainable,” said Jungbluth.

The objective of the mission is to see the cluster’s growth from the last mission and to discuss new or lingering issues, according to Jungbluth.

She added, “You are now at a point where you made a lot of things work and improve.”

For North Luzon’s leg, the joint team of the World Bank, National Project Coordination Office (NPCO), Project Support Office (PSO), Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) and the Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Bataan visited a 15-kilometer farm-to-market road in Bagac, and completed ice plant subproject in Mariveles.


Outstanding implementation

The New Construction of San Antonio – Parang – Saysain Farm to Market Road is a P157.5 million road project traversing barangays San Antonio, Parang and Saysayin, and supporting the hauling of sweet potato, rice and corn. Now on its 35.61% physical completion, the FMR will soon benefit a total of 9,752 residents and 2,043 households in Bagac.

With the active participation of the contractor 4B Construction Corporation, the road construction earned positive remarks from the Bank, calling it one of the best FMR implementation they have so far visited.

“The FMR is a very nice example of how things should be implemented – the idea of how it connects to the market and how it connects to other roads. It illustrates nicely what PRDP had in mind,” said Jungbluth.

For the I-REAP visit, the team visited the Establishment of Ice Plant with Cold Storage, a P21.8 enterprise with civil works that aims to offer accessible and cheaper supply of block ice to fisherfolks.

“Before the intervention of PRDP, fishers used to buy ice at small stores or houses. Now that we have this ice plant with cold storage through PRDP, ice can be delivered to the fishermen at low costs,” said Evelyn Dimaandal, manager of the proponent Kaizen Multipurpose Cooperative.

She added, “They can now be assured of the freshness and quality of their fishes. Now, fishers do not need to worry about unsold processed fishes that result to losing income.”



Integration with DA’s mandate

Douglas Forno, World Bank Institutions Specialist said that while it was good to showcase the emerging benefits and rising progress of the cluster, the PRDP should likewise work on fulfilling the mandate of the Department of Agriculture and other client groups – in terms of poverty reduction, climate resiliency and catalytic impact, through strategic planning.

He mentioned the PRDP’s business plan approach, and what institutional change it will bring to the proponent groups who were involved throughout the process.

“Right now, DA is not yet equipped in continuing the business plan approach,” said Forno to the group. “You are the ones in control in bringing institutional change,”

He added that there is now an exponential change and growth in the North Luzon cluster, and that the need for technological growth increases. “To modernize is one of the mandates of the Department,” he said.

The 6th World Bank Implementation Support Mission kicked off on May 21 and will cover all clusters of North and South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao until June 6, 2018. (Kayla Arceo, PSO InfoACE)

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