World Bank to fund P45-billion rural program – Marcos
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on various stakeholders to aggressively carry out the P45.01-billion Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Scale-Up to develop the country’s agricultural sector for the benefit of Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, and consumers.
“Our priorities are going toward the same direction. Again, we will just have to scale up and do the necessary things,” a Palace statement quoted the President as saying on Tuesday during a meeting with the World Bank (WB) in Malacañang to discuss the status of the PRDP Scale-Up.
“We really have to develop the agricultural sector. So, let’s keep going. And, of course, what I am always reminded of is that we sometimes speak, in terms of agriculture, only of production. We have also to look at the farmers [and] fishermen,” Marcos added.
The PRDP Scale-Up is the first project that has been approved at record speed, as it is set to be implemented only seven months after it was submitted for consideration by the Department of Agriculture (DA), which Marcos heads as concurrent secretary, before the National Economic and Development Authority whose board the President also chairs.
According to the president, the government has to balance everything and see to it that farmers produce and earn more while consumers have a sufficient food supply at affordable prices.
The president also raised the need for consolidation and inclusivity, as well as partitioning the collective Certificate of Land Ownership Awards for families to make farmland usable.
The original PRDP started in 2014, aimed at establishing a modern, value chain-oriented, and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector, providing key infrastructure, facilities, technology, enterprises, information, productivity, and competitiveness in the countryside.
PRDP Scale-Up builds on the gains of the original PRDP to further improve the access of farmers and fisherfolk to markets for increased income.
The project’s overall strategic directions include the government’s efforts for regional perspective in coming up with key agri-fishery investment areas, and clustering and consolidation of farmer and fisherfolk cooperative associations to attain economies of scale.
The enhanced mainstreaming of PRDP innovations towards institutionalization in the DA is also part of the agency’s overall strategic directions, along with enhanced efforts to respond to rural infrastructure demand with farm-to-market roads as one of the priority investments.