The Department of Agriculture Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) Bicol’s Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) Assessment and Updating and the Pili Virtual Investment Forum 2021 were among the salient accomplishments highlighted by the Local and National Levels Planning (I-PLAN) component South Luzon cluster during the Component Discussion with World Bank (WB). This is part of the ongoing 12th WB Implementation Support Mission (ISM) to PRDP held virtually on May 31, 2021.

Since the previous ISM, PRDP-Bicol I-PLAN has conducted four meetings and workshops through cost-sharing with the Provincial Government of Albay as pilot province to support PCIP assessment and updating for its priority commodities namely abaca, coco geonets, pili, sweet potato and swine. This is in line with the Province-led Agricultural and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES) implementation. Also, the Pili Virtual Investment Forum conducted by Bicol University, PRDP’s partner state university in implementing the research project “Pili Research-Based Technology Assessment and Geo-mapping” was also cited in the cluster report presented by PRDP PSO South Luzon I-PLAN Component Unit Head Jo-Marie Libarnes.

The online meeting, which was attended by PRDP-Bicol I-PLAN Component Head Aloha Gigi Bañaria and her organic and hired staff, focused on the overall progress of the I-PLAN component and how it complements the agency’s One DA Reform Agenda. It provided updates on the status of the enhancement of the component’s operations manual and results framework as well as the PCIP uptake of PRDP and non-PRDP implementers, the integration of biodiversity conservation and coastal resources co-management features in the PCIPs, and the mainstreaming of DA-PRDP tools and processes to DA. Implementation bottlenecks and innovations and strategies adopted by the component were also discussed.

Other highlights of the meeting include the announcement of the GeoSMART App and PCIP Planners’ Portal, a web-based platform being developed by the DA-PRDP’s I-PLAN component and Geomapping and GeoSMART App designed to harmonize geospatial information generated from the Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) and Expanded Vulnerability and Suitability Assessment (EVSA) while the PCIP Planners’ Portal contains data, templates, and other information that are essential in PCIP preparation and updating.

WB Senior Rural Development Specialist and Co-Task Team Leader Maria Theresa G. Quiñones thanked the I-PLAN Project Support Offices (PSOs) and Regional Project Coordination Offices (RPCOs) for sharing their major activities and achievements since the last ISM despite challenges. She also emphasized the I-PLAN’s role in project implementation saying “Your role is very important and strategic to the rest of the components especially in ensuring their inter-relatedness, synergistic effects and convergence.” (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V/RPCO V InfoACE Unit)