PILI, CAMARINES SUR – To support the Department of Agriculture’s holistic approach to agriculture and fisheries transformation, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Local and National Level Planning (I-PLAN) held its first quarterly meeting online with its provincial counterparts on January 22, 2021. About 19 members of the PRDP-Bicol I-PLAN team, InfoACE Unit and Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) in the six provinces of the region and Naga City attended the virtual meeting.

According to PRDP-Bicol Planning Specialist Mary Ann Cuya, Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIPs) developed under the PRDP will be used as basis to boost provincial commodities under the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES), one of the 12 key strategies cited by DA Secretary William Dar to grow agriculture in 2021 and beyond in his “One DA” framework. The PCIP is a three-year rolling consensus plan between the DA and the provincial local government units based on the value chain analysis (VCA) of priority commodities prepared in consultation with various stakeholders. It is a major output of PRDP’s I-PLAN team which serves as the principal basis for the Project’s infrastructure development (I-BUILD) and enterprise development (I-REAP) interventions.

In her message, PRDP-Bicol I-PLAN Head Aloha Gigi Bañaria provided updates on the implementation of the I-PLAN component and acknowledged the PPMIU I-PLAN team’s efforts despite the challenges they encountered in 2020. As of December 31, 2020, the PRDP-Bicol has proposed, implemented and completed a total of 141 I-BUILD and I-REAP subprojects worth an aggregate amount of P11.76 billion. These subprojects were identified based on 11 approved VCAs translated into six PCIPs and one City Commodity Investment Plan (CCIP).

In 2020, PRDP-Bicol was recognized as the Best Performing Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) for I-PLAN in South Luzon and ranked third nationwide for leveraging through implementation of PCIPs and for having the largest-approved non-PRDP investment worth P3.48 billion.

According to Bañaria, I-PLAN’s excellent performance last year was a result of innovations and strategies that the team employed to deliver their required outputs such as engaging in blended meetings and assisting the provinces in encoding in lieu of CIP Web Updating Workshop to address weak interconnectivity and absence of power supply after three typhoons slammed the region.

“We’re lucky na may mga partners kami na katulad ninyo,” Bañaria said. Aside from the Orientation on One DA, also discussed during the PRDP-Bicol I-PLAN’s first quarter meeting were the 2020 catch up plans and timelines as well as priority activities and strategies for 2021 which include Convergence Meetings, PCIP Updating and VCA Updating and Refinement. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V/PRDP-Bicol InfoACE Unit)