TACLOBAN CITY, Jan. 31 (PNA) –- The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office here vowed to bring more investments to communities badly hit by calamities.

“We should help bring in more investments in terms of agricultural infrastructures and livelihood, especially in areas severely hit by calamities. The opportunity is there under the PRDP (Philippine Rural Development Project),” said DA Regional Director U-Nichols A. Manalo during the recent regional project coordination.

He pointed out that the usual occurrences of typhoons in the region pose a major challenge for the agriculture sector.

“There are still areas in our region which have not yet fully recovered from calamities. Some displaced farmers still need badly our assistance for them to find better income opportunities,” he said.

“We have more work to do this year. It is high time we push ourselves higher and work together as a team for a much better performance this year.”

In particular, he cited the need to fast track the completion of the value –chain analysis and correspondingly, the formulation of the commodity investment plans of the different provinces.

“We could not proceed with any proposed enterprise and infrastructure sub-projects without complying with this basic requirement,” he stressed.

Under the World Bank-funded PRDP’s project enterprise component, Eastern Visayas has already a total of 45 subprojects submitted with a budgetary requirement of PHP59 million.

Of the number, 44 were approved and funded, while three more are still subject for approval.

On the other hand, under its infrastructure component, out of 39 sub projects requiring PHP2.5 billion, four are already under ongoing implementation, seven more had been approved, and 29 are still in the pipeline.

Last Dec. 19 to 20, 2016, a conditional approval was made by the Regional Project Advisory Board for the Concreting of Conception village to Sitio Morena, Hampangan farm-to- market road in Hilongos, Leyte involving a total cost of PHP136.6 million.

The board also unanimously approved 9 micro-enterprise subprojects for the different farmers associations in the province of Northern Samar requiring a sum of PHP11.3 million pesos.

The funding support under the project for micro-enterprise subprojects partake as part of the DA’s rehabilitation assistance for the farmers affected by typhoon Nona.

“The challenge goes even enormous for Region 8 this year as we will be hosting two important activities for the visayas cluster. First, will be the world bank implementation support mission to be held possibly in April and, the mid-term implementation review in November,” he added.

The two-day activity was conducted as avenue for dissemination of important updates and, to discuss relevant project implementation concerns.(PNA)