Date: January 26, 2021
Contact person: Angelica J. Sanchez, Director for Policy Development
GOVERNORS URGE THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE IMMEDIATE APPROVAL OF THE ADDITIONAL US$ 280 MILLION WORLD BANK FUND FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) has called on the national government for the immediate approval and release of the US$ 280 Million (around Php 14 billion) second additional financing from the World Bank for the implementation of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), led by DA Secretary William D. Dar. Aside from the said additional financing, DA-PRDP will receive the EUR 18.3 Million EU Grant that will co-finance the second additional financing for implementation in Mindanao regions.
LPP President and ULAP Chairman, Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. said that the league has passed it’s NEB Resolution 2021-001 supporting this DA project and that they have formally written to President Rodrigo Roa 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 LGUs. These proposals are already at the advanced stage of approval process and the immediate release of funds is crucial given that the DA-PRDP Project has 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 last January 9, 2020, Governor Velasco was informed that the DA-PRDP AF2-EU financing was already approved by the Investment Coordination Committee – Technical Board (ICC-TB) last September 30, 2020. 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% and 78% 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 for the said approval.
The LPP expressed urgency for the ICC to grant its approval and endorsement for NEDA Board approval. It is hoped that the loan effectiveness will happen within the second quarter of CY 2021.