DA sets March 31 deadline for MRDP Infra Proposals

Mindanao Wrinkled HornbillImage by patries71 via Flickr
Mindanao Wrinkled Hornbill
A March 15, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Agriculture
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has ordered submission of all infrastructure project proposals under the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) not later than March 31, 2011.
MRDP Director Lealyn A. Ramos said that the order of the secretary is to help fast-track projects implementation for the Program to achieve its targets.
“The marching order of the secretary will help us see the big picture of agricultural infrastructure development in many areas in Mindanao as the Program covers 225 of the 420 municipalities in Mindanao and at the same time see how much we’ll need to support these projects,” Ramos explained.
MRDP, now on its second phase, is a poverty alleviation initiative under the Department of Agriculture with funding of $83.75 million from a loan portfolio of the World Bank and equity share from the national government and the local government units.
“We also eye the Phase 3 of the Program. And to commence our preparation for that we need to disburse at least 60% of the present loan portfolio,” Alcala said in a meeting with Mindanao local chief executives in Cagayan de Oro City.
As of February this year, the Program stands close to 19% disbursement of its WB loan.
Ramos said that based on the loan agreement with the WB, the Program will officially close on December 2012.
Infrastructure targets
“We are pump-priming the agricultural potential of Mindanao by providing the necessary infrastructure to bring this part of the country a self-sustainable growth,” Ramos said.
Under the Rural Infrastructure (RI) component, MRDP is set to repair 1,950 kilometers and construct 200 kilometers of new farm-to-market roads.
The Program also eyes to rehabilitate communal irrigation systems that will service an estimated 8,300 hectares rice fields and construct new systems to serve 800 hectares.
Further it also targets a total of 1000 meters of singles lane bridges, and construction and rehabilitation of level-2 potable water systems.
The RI component gets the biggest chunk of MRDP fund pegged at about Php4.84 billion pesos.
“Along the order of the Sec. Alcala is to provide more concrete roads as it lasts longer compared to the usual “all-weather roads,” Ramos said.
“As of late, we already have Php3.9 million active subprojects and the remaining amount will be available to those LGUs who could submit their proposals on the set date,” Ramos added.