July 7, 2017
PRESS RELEASE

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, PALAWAN – To strengthen the Philippine Rural Development Project’s (PRDP) feedback mechanism not only to the Management but to the proponent local government units (LGUs), the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) unit will launch an online feedback mechanism for the local chief executives on July 15, 2017.

This was announced by National Project Coordination Office M&E Unit Head Jourvin Barrera during the South Luzon Midyear Assessment and Planning Workshop held on June 27-30, 2017 this province.

“We would like to have the leaders, the local chief executive and the head of the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Units (PPMIUs) become our partners in resolving matters that affect the subproject management by ensuring that they are informed of the status and of various concerns that need to be addressed.

 

According to Barrera, this is part of the Project’s promotion of transparency in implementing subprojects. He said that years back, the Department of Agriculture practices traditional M&E which focused much on input, process and output, less effort made on tracking outcomes, results and interventions. By engaging the implementers at the regional and cluster level, importance is now given to tracking outcomes and then having M&E transparent through web-based M&E and through website.

The online feedback mechanism to the LGUs will be institutionalized by transmitting information from the web-based M&E system to the electronic mail addresses of the governors, mayors and the heads of the PPMIUs twice a month, every 15th and 30th of the month. A command was set on the web-based M&E system that every 15th of the month, at 8 a.m., information contained in the system will be transmitted to the governors and mayors in summary form.

“Making the governors or mayors informed about the progress, status, and issues and concerns, we eye to have them as our partners to address delay in the compliance of requirements,” he added.

A memo was signed by National Project Director Ariel Cayanan on the third week of June 2017 for PSOs to request the LGUs to give the M&E the email addresses of the governors and heads of the PPMIU. Once a governor tick the message from the NPCO about the PRDP updates, the system will tag him or her as a person that accessed the feedback at a certain point in time. The system can also record who among them have accessed the online feedback mechanism. Like the typical e-mail, they may reply anytime.

“Ang PRDP ay isang napakagandang programa… Pero aaminin po namin talaga pong grabe, mabusisi ang pag-document, matrabaho ang pag-fulfill ng mga requirements ng proyekto kaya yung online feedback mechanism talagang makakatulong yan para in direct and close coordination ang probinsya pati ang opisina ninyo. Kung may pagkukulang kami, mas madali makakakuha ng feedback, kung may hihingiin kami, mas mabilis din, so maganda. Maraming salamat at may ganyang development (PRDP is a very good project…but we have to admit that it has very stringent documentary requirements. The online feedback mechanism is a big help for us to maintain close coordination with your office. We can easily seek feedback in case we have shortcomings and we can readily get assistance if we need help. It’s good. Thank you very much for this development),” Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte said. 

Barrera mentioned that a feedback mechanism will also be installed for the Secretary of the Department, project director, Project Support Office (PSO) director, and Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) directors. This will provide them a snapshot of where they are vis-à-vis the prescribed timelines and the emerging issues that need to be addressed.

PRDP-Bicol’s midyear lessons learned and ways forward

PRDP-Bicol Deputy Project Director Adelina Losa committed to work closely with the M&E unit to resolve the challenge of translating subproject approval to actual delivery, implementation and completion. She also guaranteed that the PRDP-Bicol M&E unit will be providing updated and verified data to support the online feedback mechanism. In addition, she announced that the I-REAP in Bicol now has thematic assignments aside from geographic assignments to cover marketing, operations, organizational development and finance effective May 2017.

She cited collective commitment, shared responsibility and teamwork among components and units as well as of streamlining the PRDP process through constant communication with project partners as PRDP-Bicol’s strengths. Moving forward, she reiterated PRDP PSO South Luzon Director Shandy Hubilla’s advice to appreciate each other’s contributions and pursue excellence instead of perfection. PRDP-Bicol will also adopt strategic directions from the PSO such as output-driven activities, plan-based budgeting, and establishing accountability teams.

“The midyear review gave us the chance to look back and determine how far have we gone in attaining PRDP objectives and also to see the unending challenges that lie ahead,” she remarked.

In an appraisal report presented by Barerra, Bicol ranked third in South Luzon and eighth nationwide in terms of cluster pace, with an efficiency rate of 17 percent. In terms of subproject approval, Bicol ranked fifth nationwide with P56.46 million-worth of approved subprojects, P45.98 million-worth of subprojects expected to reach implementation and completion and P8.04 million-worth of completed and implemented subprojects. 

“Though the problem largely rests in the procurement stage, it doesn’t mean that it’s the sole responsibility of the procurement unit. Procurement stage entails the involvement of the procurement unit, the operation, enterprise component, the finance unit, other units such as the Social and Environmental Safeguards in order to hasten or expedite the process of procurement. There must be a cohesive effort between these components and units,” Barrera clarified.  

He furthered that the challenge lies on how to strengthen the engagement to the LGUs and proponent groups in ensuring that they would cope with the technical and documentary requirements of the project following World Bank guidelines and standards which may be new to them.

This challenge if addressed can make LGUs more efficient in putting assistance and ensuring better and sustainable operations.

“As you maintain transparency in M&E that will really spearhead efficiency because all the concerned players and stakeholders will be aware. These things will be mainstreamed to the regions through PRDP,” Barrera added.

PRDP is a six-year World Bank-assisted national project being implemented by the Department of Agriculture in partnership with the provincial and municipal LGUs and private institutions aimed at establishing a modern, inclusive, value chain-oriented, and climate-smart agri-fishery sector. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)