A team of World Bank consultants headed by Lead Agriculture Economist Frauke Jungbluth is in Catanduanes starting May 29, 2019 for the 8th World Bank (WB) Implementation Support Mission (ISM) to South Luzon Cluster. The four-day activity, hosted by Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP)-Bicol aims to assess the quality of the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) and enterprise development (I-REAP) subprojects being implemented by the PRDP in the island. On the first day of the 8th ISM, the WB experts conducted a site inspection and consultation meeting with subproject beneficiaries of the 7.37-kilometer Concreting of Junction Sabangan-Datag East Farm-to-Market Road in Caramoran.

According to Jungbluth, the WB team is interested to hear about the subproject beneficiaries’ journey until this point in time–how they feel about the infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subproject, what worked well, what didn’t work well and how much this will change the situation in their area.
The trip to Catanduanes, which is part of the South Luzon Cluster, is the first leg of the review mission. Next week, the WB team will be in Visayas and in Northern Luzon then in Mindanao in the weeks after.

“We’re at the start of this Mission so all of your inputs will become part of the discussion that we’ll have at the cluster level but also at the very end of all of the visits at the national level about what can we further improve on the Project,” Jungbluth added.

On May 30, 2019, the WB team will be in Bato and Panganiban for similar site visits and consultation meetings with the community and project beneficiaries at the Main Warehouse of the province’s I-REAP subprojects, Abaca Fiber Processing and Trading Enterprise and Mangrove Crab Marketing Enterprise. Together with Jungbluth is the incoming Project Task Team Leader Eli Weiss and the PRDP-team from Project Support Office South Luzon headed by Engr. Arnel de Mesa, the PRDP-Bicol group led by Dir. Elena B. de los Santos and Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness Dr. Andrew Villacorta. (Annielyn L. Baleza, Photo by: Eduardo D. Collantes Jr., DA-RAFIS V)