NEDA approves disaster risk reduction projects worth P11.9 billion

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved on Thursday environment and disaster risk reduction (DRR)-related projects worth P11.9 billion. These are the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Program (INREMP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Integrated DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Measures in Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Education. These projects intend to promote ecological integrity to mitigate the impacts of environmental factors.
The P7.24-billion INREMP uses the Integrated Environmental Management approach, which will be implemented within the priority watersheds of four critical river basins: Chico River Basin, Bukidnon River Basin, Wahig-Inabanga River Basin, and Lake Lanao Watershed. The program will be financed through the following: (a) Asian Development Bank—P4.7-billion loan; (b) International Fund for Agricultural Development—P940-million loan; (c) Climate Change Fund—P66.27-million grant; (d) Global Environment Facility—P117.55-million grant; (e) national government—P726.62 million; (f) local government units—P351.56 million; and (g) support from beneficiaries in kind worth P342.20 million.
“The program aims to improve livelihoods in, as well as increase revenues of local governments of, 83 municipalities and cities in nine provinces in Regions CAR [Cordillera Administrative Region], 7, 10, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao [ARMM],” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Board Vice Chairperson Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr. said. He added that the program also addresses the food security, biodiversity conservation, and CCA and mitigation goals of the National Greening Program of the DENR.
Meanwhile, the P4.66-billion DRR/CCA project has two major components: establishment of flood control measures and rehabilitation of school buildings. The project aims to address the flooding problem in the low-lying municipalities in Pampanga delta. It also aims to eliminate school site flooding through the reconstruction of 232 classrooms in 47 flood-affected schools, benefiting about 35,057 pupils. The project is proposed to be financed through a P3.9-billion overseas development assistance loan from the Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund and P755.33-million counterpart funding from the Philippine government.
Paderanga said this project aims to reduce the flood level from 2.99 to 1.42 meters and the number of flood-affected areas from 40,150 hectares to 23,780 hectares in the low-lying areas of Pampanga Bay.
The NEDA Board is the governing body that sets major development policy directions for the Philippines, whereas the NEDA Secretariat serves as its research and technical support arm. President Benigno S. Aquino III is Chair of the Board, and Paderanga serves as Vice Chair. The NEDA Board members are: the Secretaries of Agriculture, Budget and Management, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Tourism, Trade and Industry, Transportation and Communications, and Presidential Management Staff; the Deputy Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; the Chairpersons of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Metro Manila Development Authority, and Mindanao Development Authority; the Governor of the ARMM; and the President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.