For Engr. Ruben Nuñez, Materials Engineer of 3RB Construction & Supply, the contractor in-charge of the Rehabilitation and Improvement of Hacienda to Rawis Farm-to-Market Road (FMR), the Contractors’ Meeting conducted by the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in line with the ongoing 12th World Bank Implementation Support Mission on May 28, 2021 was a validation of their best practices on-site.

According to Atty. Abraham Guiao, DA-PRDP National Project Coordination Office Procurement Unit Head, the said meeting aims to enhance the Project’s procurement process as it continually upholds best practices to ensure successful implementation, provide an overview of the Project to new contractors, and give an avenue for contractors to air their concerns, issues and hindrances in project implementation.

Nuñez and Project Engineer Nelson Echano Jr. of Legazpi Premium and Development Corp./3RB Construction and Supply (JV) were among the 147 virtual participants nationwide who attended the Contractors’ Meeting. They were joined by Tabaco City Project Management and Implementation Unit infrastructure development (I-BUILD) Head Engr. Dindo Bongalosa and Site Engineer Mark Ryan Cadag and members of the PRDP-Bicol Regional Project Coordination Office I-BUILD component and Procurement unit. Virtually present during the Contractors’ Meeting were World Bank Senior Procurement Specialist Engr. Dominic R. Aumentado, World Bank Rural Development Specialist and Co-Task Team Leader Maria Theresa Quiñones, NPCO and Project Support Office (PSO) I-BUILD and Procurement Unit representatives, and contractors of ongoing DA-PRDP subprojects.

In his message, Aumentado, underscored the contractors’ equally important role as strategic partners in project implementation.

“Through you, the Project starting with MRDP, PRDP original loan OL, PRDP additional financing 1st AF, and eventually 2nd AF all of the infrastructure subprojects were built successfully, and we hope that this will continue,” Aumentado said. He also stressed the value of their contribution and participation in making the Project’s system more efficient, especially on the I-BUILD component.

Among the highlights of the Contractors’ Meeting were the presentation of experiences and good practices from each cluster’s featured contractors, open forum about common contractors’ issues and concerns, and a discussion on procurement bidding opportunities under the PRDP.

Moreover, PRDP NPCO Deputy Project Director Shandy Hubilla announced that the second additional financing worth 280 million dollars, equivalent to P14 billion has already been approved by the Government of the Philippines. He mentioned that the loan negotiations has been successfully undertaken last May 11, 2021 and is awaiting for the World Bank Board’s approval on June 24, 2021.

“It’s a very timely opportunity as we complete the original loan as well as the 1st additional financing and we embark on the 2nd additional financing, we will be able to know and get very important inputs and feedback from you on how you will be able to implement the subprojects under AF and OL so that we could better improve our partnership with the LGUs and the different contractors come AF2,” Hubilla added. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V/PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)