16 LGUs in Northern Cebu lobby for farm projects

Northern Cebu’s 16 Typhoon Yolanda-hit towns and city are lobbying for easy access to agri-fishery projects this year.

The Cebu Provincial Government is working fast to make this happen. Funds for these projects will be taken from the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA). PRDP’s budget is loaned from the World Bank by the Philippine National Government.

DA’s Gerry Avila said some of the requirements of PRDP are waived to fast track the implementation of agri-fishery projects in the typhoon-affected local government units (LGUs) this year. These requirements include value chain analysis, provincial commodity investment plan, and proponent group equity and eligibility.

He said Cebu Province has until Aug. 31 to comply with the documentary requirements for the first chance of getting the proposed projects approved.
If it fails to submit on this day, it will have to wait until Dec. 31 to avail of the funding made available by the DA for the year 2014. If the Capitol’s proposal failed to comply with the requirements, then it will wait for 2015.

By 2015, however, the PRDP will be implemented according to its regular procedure. The LGUs affected by the typhoon Yolanda are allowed to propose two projects within the PRDP framework. The PRDP eligible projects are farm-to-market road, single lane bridge, communal irrigation system, potable water system, and fishery related infrastructure.

It has also an investment component wherein one of the key objectives is to increase smallholder groups operating viable enterprises in program areas.

For the infrastructure projects, the provincial government is required to answer the 10 percent of the total cost and 20 percent in the investment cost.

Last Apr. 29, the 16 LGUs, through their agriculturists, initially gave their proposals in a consultative meeting.

The provincial agriculture office targeted to get the final proposed projects when the PRDP implementers from Manila come to Cebu by the end of May.

“But all these should bear the approval of the provincial governor because DA only deals with him,” Avila said.

PDRP is a six-year program (2013-2019) designed to establish an inclusive and market-oriented agri-fishery sector through strategic investments in priority commodity value chains.

Aimed at reducing poverty by 50 percent, it will focus on expanding market access and improving competitiveness.

PRDP will partner with LGUs and the private sector in providing key infrastructure, facilities, technology, and information that will raise incomes, productivity and competitiveness in the countryside.