DA-PRDP Mindanao Cluster Performs Strong in Year End Review

PSO Mindanao Deputy Project Director Noel T. Provido  presenting the highlights of Mindanao Cluster's year-end performance.

DAVAO CITY- The 11th World Bank Implementation Support Mission to the Department of Agriculture Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) concluded last December 4 a virtual conference led by the World Bank Team and the National Project Coordination Office (NPCO) and attended by the Project Support Offices, Regional Project Coordination Offices, and representatives of the Department of Agriculture.

This was the second time that the support mission to DA-PRDP was conducted virtually due to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Despite the challenges to project implementation caused by the pandemic, DA-PRDP as a whole received across the board satisfactory ratings from the World Bank Team which was headed by Team Task Leader Eli Weiss – improving on the moderately satisfactory rating it previously during the midterm review last June.

Weiss commended the DA-PRDP team for their constant drive to improve and adjust to the new realities under COVID 19 as it relates to project implementation. “You really are the best example for digital transformation and from our side, we will continue to showcase PRDP examples in the (World) Bank),” said Weiss.

Weiss went on to note that since the last mission, disbursements have gone up by 36% showing again how all the different components of PRDP have been steadily working to ensure the continuity of the project despite COVID-19.

This has been accomplished through a multi-pronged response strategy that consists of close coordination with the different LGU’s and stakeholders, the use of online platforms for virtual trainings, joint technical reviews & RPAB’s and seeking for ways to improve and innovate with the tools that PRDP already has at its disposal.

For this review, Mindanao was tasked with preparing a virtual site visit of their subprojects. Region 12 was chosen as the host region with the “Dried Beans Cacao Marketing” subproject at Antipas, North Cotabato representing the I-REAP or enterprise component, and the “Concreting of Kanalo-Nomoh Farm-to-Market Road” subproject at Maasim, Saranggani representing the I-BUILD or infrastructure component.

The Mindanao cluster was able to showcase these subprojects through well-crafted audio-visual presentations which were produced through a combination of geotagged photos & videos, aerial drone shots, site videos, and testimonials from project beneficiaries and stakeholders.

In his speech Mindanao Project Director, Ricardo Oñate highlighted the cluster’s achievements since the last review citing the number of subprojects turned over in Regions 10 and 13 and a ground breaking for the first farm-to-market road subproject in Talayan, Maguindanao during the past six months. This was according to him, a testament to the hard work everyone in the Mindanao cluster continues to put in to PRDP.

The three-pronged strategy of science-based approaches, market-driven implementation, and convergence that Mindanao has depended on has benefited the 529,501 men, 515,150 women and 299,670 indigenous people (IP’s) who represent the beneficiaries of the approved enterprise and infrastructure subprojects throughout the six regions of the cluster.

In terms of institutionalization and mainstreaming of commodity investment plans (CIP’s), the Mindanao cluster was able to post P35.48 billion in total investments made by the various government line agencies which represent a 10% increase from June to October. This was the result of the high acceptance of the different LGU’s to the CIP’s and convergence initiatives which came from the formulation and approval of 33 value chain assessments.

In terms of their infrastructure portfolio, the Mindanao Cluster has a total of 249 subprojects amounting to P17.85B as of October 2020. This represents 892.94 kilometers of farm-to-market roads, 646.46 linear meters of bridges, 511 hectares of communal irrigation systems, 3,637 households served by potable water systems, and 26 other infrastructure subprojects.

In the six-month period since the last review, the Cluster was able to post a 22% increase in the total worth of subprojects completed (P5.027 B) and a 4% increase in total subprojects under construction (P6.345B).

On the enterprise side, Mindanao has a portfolio of 125 subprojects amounting to P784.84 M as of October 2020. The majority of the subprojects are micro-enterprises with 61 SPs (49%), followed by small enterprises with 48 SPs (38%) and medium enterprise with 16 SPs (13%). 

The portfolio covers 288 proponent groups that will benefit 31,673 individual farmers and fishers in 6 regions in Mindanao.  In the six months since the last review, the total approved subprojects have grown from 98 with a total of P543.95M in June to 108 with a total of P628.56M in October 2020. In that period, six subprojects have been completed with a total amount of P57.52 M.

Subproject disbursement rate for the Cluster also increased by 12% since June 2020 with a total disbursement of P70.12 M bringing the total cumulative fund release to P320.1 million which represents a 73% utilization rate for Mindanao.

Despite the continuing challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mindanao cluster aims to end the year strong and build on its good performance as it looks forward to the next review which is slated for May 2021. (Joseph John Palarca | PSO Mindanao)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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