Governors urge nat’l gov’t for immediate approval of US280M fund for DA

BOAC, Marinduque — The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) has called on the national government for the immediate approval and release of US280 million (around P14 billion) second additional financing from World Bank for the implementation of Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) led by Secretary William D. Dar.

Aside from said additional financing, DA-PRDP will receive EUR18.3 million European Grant that will co-finance the second additional financing to be implemented in Mindanao regions.

LPP president and ULAP chairman, Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. said that the league has passed it’s NEB Resolution No. 2021-001 supporting the DA project and that they have formally written to Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte to make due consideration and swift action to move forward with the government’s approval of the said World Bank and EU funding.

He stressed that the government will lose a huge opportunity if the financing will not be availed of in the midst of the government’s current financial position wherein most funds have been refocused to address COVID-19.

Some P13.4 billion rural infrastructures and P2.3 billion rural enterprises projects in the pipeline are already requested for financing by various proponent LGU’s. Said proposals are already at the advanced stage of approval process and the immediate release of funds is crucial given that the DA-PRDP Project need to complete all investments until CY: 2024.

Upon dialogue with DA-PRDP National Project Director Undersecretary Ariel T. Cayanan along with DA Assistant Secretary Arnel V. de Mesa and DA-PRDP National Deputy Project Director Shandy M. Hubilla on January 9, Governor Velasco was informed that DA-PRDP AF2-EU financing was already approved by the Investment Coordination Committee – Technical Board (ICC-TB) last September 30, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Project has substantially complied with all the technical requirements required by the Board. More particularly, the NEDA ICC Secretariat’s findings has recognized the Project’s substantial disbursement performance and has continued to deliver remarkable disbursements with overall loan disbursements of 91 percent and 78 percent under original loan and first additional financing, respectively.

The project is already recommended for ICC – Cabinet Committee approval via ad referendum since December 2020. To date, the said Project is still pending for endorsement and approval.

The LPP expressed urgency for the ICC to grant its approval and endorsement for NEDA Board approval. They hoped that the loan effectiveness will happen within the second quarter of CY: 2021. – Marinduquenews.com

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