LEGAZPI CITY – To capacitate participating local government units (LGUs) on the different modes of site/road right of way (RROW) acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement framework for infrastructure development subprojects implementation, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) Unit in Bicol conducted a two-day training on Mainstreaming RROW Acquisition for Farm-to-Market Roads (FMRs) Implemented under PRDP on December 12-13, 2019 in this city.

The training, attended by 32 members of the Municipal Project Management and Implementation Unit (MPMIUs) from Cawayan, Mobo and Uson, Masbate, Lupi and Pamplona, Camarines Sur, and Guinobatan, Albay, further aims to clarify the necessary requirements and checklist on securing tree-cutting permits, Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) necessary to fast track PRDP subprojects approval and implementation. 

Land acquisition consultant Atty. Alexis Rainier Jacobo of Realpage Philippines Inc. shared his expertise on modes of RROW including the policy framework for land acquisition of the government, concepts of informed consent and power of choice and eligibility and entitlements. Meanwhile, Richelyn Guiriba and Engr. Ralph Jansen Chavez of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Bicol discussed the DENR policies for the acquisition of public land and permit guidance. Moreover, Michael Francis Falconi, PRDP-National Project Coordination Office (NPCO) SES Officer lectured on the World Bank Safeguards Standards and Rehabilitation, Resettlement Action Planning for Affected Houses and Properties.

Francisco Llazer, MPMIU Member of LGU-Mobo, Masbate said that he gained ideas and strategies to address the LGU’s project implementation concerns like difficulty in terms of transfer of ownership.

“May mga natutunan akong strategies. Unang-una, na dapat may planning muna, sa part ng LGU, dapat magkaroon muna ng discussion with the barangay para ngayon pa lang before the implementation makita na agad natin ang problema at malaman natin ang mga requirements. Mas mapapadali ang pag-implement ng project,” Llazer said.

Rey Alcantara, PRDP Coordinator of MPMIU-Caramoran, Catanduanes agreed, saying “Malaking bagay ito dun sa implementation ng project kasi we were made to be aware nung mga puwede naming ma-encounter during the implementation ng project. Through this training, nalaman na namin ang mga possibilities sa implementation. Kailangan talaga ng mga LGUs lalung-lalo na ng mga personnel na involved sa implementation na ma-empower and ma-capacitate sila through trainings na ganito para malaman lahat ng aspect sa implementation ng project para mapadali ang implementation ng project at maiwasan ang mga delays sa pag-implement ng project.

Francisco Oliva Jr., MPMIU-Member of Uson, Masbate added that the training equipped them on how to secure necessary deed of conveyance to effectively transfer ownership of property from private owners to the municipality. It also informed them about the guidelines and requirements for SLUP issuance.

“Sa seminar na ito, nalaman namin ang mga dapat gawin at ang mga dokumento na kinakailangan mai-execute ng mga may-ari ng lupa… mas mapapadali na maiprovide namin ang mga requirements, nalaman namin kung saan dapat pumunta at kung ano ang dapat gawin,” he added.

The SES is a unit under the PRDP’s Project Implementation Support (I-Support) component designed to ensure that the people and the environment are not adversely affected by the sub-projects implemented by the Project. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V)