The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has received confirmation from the World Bank (WB) that the institution will be extending $280 billion or more than P13 billion to support the department’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
The amount represents the Second Additional Financing (AF2), or the second tranche of the $450-million financing from the WB that was approved in 2016.
The AF2, according to a DA statement, was retrofitted to complement the agency’s initiatives on food security and other efforts related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar expressed his gratitude to the WB and PRDP for their commitment to improve the lives of beneficiaries and for a progressive agri-fishery sector in the country.
“The approval of the AF2 with the European Union (EU) co-financing grant is a huge step towards the realization of a better future for our farmers and fisherfolk as we gradually assist our beneficiaries in recovering after the pandemic. I am truly thankful to the World Bank for granting us the AF2, and to everyone at the PRDP for their hard work in enhancing communities, and expanding opportunities,” Dar said in a statement.
DA-PRDP said that the signing of the loan agreement and related documents for the DA-PRDP AF2 will happen not later than July 15, 2021.
PRDP National Project Director Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said the AF2 gives the DA-PRDP a wider and more targeted form of assistance to its intended beneficiaries.
“As we continue to increase the rural income of our beneficiaries all over the country, the approval of the AF2 by the World Bank marks a new chapter for the PRDP in enhancing and intensifying its support to its partners and stakeholders throughout the country. Let us continue to work hard,” he added.
DA-PRDP’s interventions will significantly expand to farmers and fisherfolk in supporting food productivity, promoting enterprise activities, and the upscaling of logistics to link production areas directly to the market.
The AF2-EU is expected to benefit more than 300,000 farmer and fisherfolk households, as well as create more than 70,000 additional jobs from rural infrastructure sub-projects and enterprise activities.
Also included in the AF2-EU is the expansion of the DA-PRDP’s implementation efforts in Mindanao, covering conflict-affected areas, areas with indigenous people communities, fourth to sixth-class local government units, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The loan is expected to take effect a maximum of 90 days at the latest from the date of the signing.
The implementation will commence thereafter during the last quarter of 2021.
DA said the AF2-EU’s closing date is July 31, 2025.