WB OKs $83.75-M loan for agri devt in Mindanao

Mar. 30, 2007

DAVAO CITY — The World Bank on Thursday said it has approved a $83.752-million loan sought by the Philippine government, to finance the second phase of a four-part program aimed at improving food security in Mindanao.

In a statement released to the media, the international lender said its board of directors had approved Phase 2 of the Mindanao Rural Development Project, which will benefit 225 municipalities in the 27 provinces of Mindanao.

The World Bank said the second phase of the project will improve the delivery of services to the agriculture and fisheries sector, making sure that production increases to ensure food security.

The program will also pilot test a performance-based grant scheme aimed at spurring local government units into developing infrastructure in their areas.

“MRDP2 encompasses strong approaches related to community-driven development which will help promote the active and continued participation of indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged groups in the development process,” World Bank country director for the Philippines Joachim von Amsberg said in the statement

“Almost a third of the country’s poor live in Mindanao. We hope that with this project, Mindanaoans will experience greater economic and integration opportunities, particularly to indigenous communities and other disadvantaged groups,” Agriculture secretary Arthur Yap said in the statement.

The Agriculture department is the overall executing agency of the development program the LGUs as the implementors of subprojects identified and prioritized by targeted communities.

The first phase of the development project was completed in 2004. It covered five
provinces and 32 municipalities in Mindanao.
Its third phase, which has yet to receive funding, aims to deepen the program by making sure that all eligible municipalities in Mindanao will be covered. The fourth phase intends to secure the sustainability of the development initiatives. (PIA Dispatch)

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