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RPAB to tackle Cebu livelihood project, postpones review on FMR

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

The Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) of the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) is set to tackle on March 12 Cebu Provincial Government’s Php 1 million small livelihood project.

However, the Capitol’s proposed Php 150 million worth of road projects will not be acted upon in the meeting by the board yet, according to Estella Rodriguez, provincial project management officer of PRDP.

RPAB is composed of different regional directors of the national government agencies and chaired by the regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7.

Rodriguez informed that deliberation on the farm-to-market road(FMR) project proposals in the north was re-scheduled after Holy Week next month. Both livelihood and FMR proposals are supposed to be reviewed by RPAB this week. These are also the province’s first project proposals for PRDP, which are supposed to be approved last year.

The proposed livelihood is titled “Cassava Production and Marketing Project,” which covers 32 hectares of cassava farm in San Francisco alone.

Its project proponent is the Camotes Multi-Purpose Cooperative-Poblacion San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu, which is accredited by the Cooperative Development Authority two years ago. The cooperative would shoulder 20 percent of the total project cost as a counterpart.

Of the remaining 80 percent of the total cost, 20 percent would be allocated by the province while the remaining 60 percent would be provided by the National Government.

Once approved by the RPAB, it will be endorsed for funding to the World Bank on a loan agreement with the National Government.

Victor Geralde, head of the Investment for Rural Enterprises and Agricultural and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) Unit, said Camotes is the top producing area of cassava in Cebu.

“Camotes Island produced more than half of the two thousand tons of locally-produced cassava,” he said.

Geralde said there is a big possibility that the proposal will be approved by RPAB. He explained that some of the documentary requirements were waived to accommodate those affected by typhoon-Yolanda areas.

In 2014, the Capitol set aside Php 50 million for FMR projects as the required 10 percent counterpart and another Php 7 million counterpart for livelihood projects.