The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Bicol is set to attain and even exceed its 2021 targets, PRDP-Bicol Deputy Project Director Adelina Losa announced during the Meeting on PRDP Updates and RPCO V Targets and Deliverables for 2021 held virtually on February 16, 2021.

As of January 31, 2021, PRDP-Bicol has 84 proposed infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subprojects worth a total of P8.99 billion and two proposed enterprise development (I-REAP) subprojects with a total cost of P12.80 million. The proposed I-BUILD subprojects include 42 farm-to-market roads (FMRs), 38 other infrastructure such as abattoirs, and four potable water supply (PWS) system.

This year, PRDP-Bicol also targets to complete three I-BUILD subprojects worth P269.03 million and seven I-REAP subprojects funded under the PRDP’s original loan which are still under implementation phase.

Meanwhile, the Local and National Level Planning (I-PLAN) team aims to prepare one new value chain analysis (VCA) for cacao on the first semester of 2021. Relative to the rollout of the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES), PRDP-Bicol I-PLAN’s pilot province–Albay, has already started the updating of the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) for sweet potato, pili and swine.

PRDP National Deputy Project Director Shandy Hubilla underscored the need to accelerate the completion of ongoing I-BUILD and I-REAP subprojects as well as the compliance of pipelined subprojects’ documentary requirements while waiting for the World Bank’s approval of the proposed second additional financing worth 280 million dollars. He also expressed his confidence that PRDP-Bicol will sustain and level up its performance this year.

Also discussed during the Meeting on PRDP Updates and RPCO V Targets and Deliverables for 2021 were the clusterwide updates, issues and concerns as well as output-based targets and deliverables for the first semester of 2021. The said virtual meeting was attended by all component and unit heads of the South Luzon Project Support Office (PSO) and PRDP-Bicol.

In 2020, despite restrictions to project implementation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and series of natural disasters that hit the region, PRDP-Bicol received the Best Overall Performance Award from PRDP South Luzon Cluster. The region ranked 5th in terms of I-BUILD physical progress and 3rd in terms of I-REAP physical status nationwide. Likewise, it ranked third at the national level for leveraging through PCIP implementation and for having the largest-approved non-PRDP investments.

“Bicolanos are really resilient, dumaan man ang maraming bagyo o nandito man ang pandemic… Malaking challenge pa rin ang 2021 pero naniniwala po ako na sa pagtutulungan (nating lahat) maaabot and malalagpasan natin ang targets,” Losa said. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V/PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)