TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, September 5 (DA) – The Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) unanimously approved and correspondingly endorsed nine infrastructure sub-project proposals for funding under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) where RPAB provides guidance, reviews and approves subprojects for funding under the PRDP.

In a meeting by the RPAB conducted on August 22, 2014 at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City, Department of Agriculture-8’s Regional Executive Director and concurrent RPAB Chair Bernadette F. San Juan disclosed that the proposed farm-to-market road sub-projects from seven municipalities in the region may have greater chance of being funded this year.

Dir. San Juan said, “This is in account for the less stringent requirement for the Yolanda affected areas having been granted exemption, at least for this year, for coming up with a Priority Commodity Investment Plan and Value Chain Analysis. These are usually required before any proposed sub project could be submitted for funding under the PRDP.”

She quickly pointed out however, that there are still other requirements which the RPAB has to closely look into, especially on the feasibility aspect of the proposed sub project.

These FMR subprojects had been subjected to pre-evaluation before reaching theRPABfor review and subsequent endorsement either to the National Program Coordination Office (NPCO) or WorldBank depending on the total funding requirement of the proposed sub project.

Dir. San Juan mentioned that investments in rural infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads will boost efforts towards full recovery of the region from typhoon Yolanda particularly in terms of bringing back more resilient food production base and improving the living condition of the people living in the countryside.

“By putting in place good road networks, we are actually creating much wider access to abounding opportunities for our rural folk which include, among others, such greater chance for them to earn better incomes from a much cheaper transport cost and a better chance to find a good marketplace for their products,” she explained.

The FMR sub-project proposals endorsed by the RPAB for funding this year consist of 19.40 kilometres project in Lilo-an and 15.96 km in Sogod, Southern Leyte; 11.66 km in Basey and 2.84 km in Sta. Rita Samar; 2.13 km for Maydolong and 4.57km in Balangkayan, Eastern Samar and; 6.88 km in San Roque, Northern Samar.

Dir. San Juan exhorts local government units to maximize potential benefits from the PRDP. “It would definitely help if interested LGUs will start off their preparations this early to be able to avail of the project funds for next year considering that compliance with the requirements may take quite a longer period to complete.” (DA-8)