The Philippine Rural Development Project in Bicol eyes the approval and implementation of three infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subprojects worth a total of P312,027,250 to help rebuild the Province of Catanduanes, which was devastated by Supertyphoon Rolly in November this year.

“We will do our best to help them package the proposal. As of now, the PRDP team is conducting technical review to improve the package in order for the projects to be ready for No Objection Letter,” PRDP-Bicol Deputy Project Director Adelina A. Losa said.

A joint inspectorate team from the PRDP National Office, South Luzon and Bicol as well as the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) of Catanduanes conducted a Subproject Appraisal Review (SPAR) in three municipalities in the province on December 9 and 10, 2020 to review and evaluate the Feasibility Studies report submitted by the Provincial and Municipal Project Management Implementation Units (P/MPMIUs). 

The team conducted field visits to the 5.500-kilometer Concreting of Junction Ogbong to Mabini Farm to Market Road in the town of Viga; 6.5-kilometer Concreting of Junction Libod to Panuto Farm to Market Road in Pandan; and 6.360-kilometer Construction of Barangay Tubli to Maysuram Farm to Market Road in Caramoran,  to verify the consistency of FS data and ensure its compliance with PRDP standards.

The Inspectorate team was composed of the  PRDP-Bicol I-BUILD team headed by Engr. Teodoro Eleda the PRDP National Project Coordination Office (NPCO) Economist Harry Omaña, South Luzon Project Support Office (PSO) Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) Specialist Mitzi Ranara, Rural Infrastructure Engineer (RIE) Rhishel Peñara, PRDP-Bicol RIE Jimbo Bjorn Salceda, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Rhodelia Remot, SES Specialist Teresita Blanqueza, Economist Rosslyn Deblois and Geographic Information Specialist Engr. Philbert Nebres. The I-BUILD and I-SUPPORT team of PPMIU Catanduanes headed by Engr. Elsie Reyes also joined the PRDP joint inspectorate team.

Caramoran Mayor Glenda Aguilar expressed her appreciation of the PRDP’s process and the team’s efforts saying “Ngayong ganito ang ginagawa, nasisiguro ko po na yung project talaga magagawa nang maganda, magagawa nang mas tama. Yung PRDP bago nila nila-launch ang project, kailangan walang maaapi na may-ari ng dadaanan… Kung may masasagasaan na kahoy, kailangan palitan, kailangan may itanim—yung lahat mahalaga. Lahat binibigyan ng pansin hindi talaga basta-basta, kailangan may quality.  Maiiwasan ang problema bukas… Kung ganito kalinis ang pagsisimula natin, wala tayong magiging problema.”

PPMIU Head Engr. Elsie Reyes believes that the proposed I-BUILD subprojects, once implemented, will help the communities within the road influence area recover from the typhoon damage.

“Kasi yung effect ng typhoon and yung sa COVID-19, marami talaga ang economically displaced. Hindi naman lahat ng pangangailangan nila puwedeng maibigay ng government. Ito pong project natin, this will open up opportunities for additional or alternative livelihood kasi kung affected yung farming and fishing, most probably, lalabas sila para maghanap ng trabaho sa labas. Matutulungan din sila and then yung transport of goods, di ba economically, matutulungan din sila kasi mafa-facilitate yung transport,” Reyes said.

During the SPAR Exit Meeting held on December 11, 2020, Governor Joseph Cua acknowledged the importance of PRDP’s development efforts for the province. “We want more projects for Catanduanes kasi kailangan talaga namin,” he said. PPMIU-Catanduanes will be working on its compliances with the joint inspectorate team’s recommendations until January 15, 2020 as a requirement for the issuance of No Objection Letter 1 or Notice to Proceed to Procure. The province has four FMRS and two AA slaughterhouses awaiting NOL 1 from PRDP. (DA RAFIS V/PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)