Agri advisory body okays P727-M projects for 4 Bicol provinces

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Agriculture’s advisory body has approved seven sub-projects worth PHP727 million for four provinces in the Bicol region, among them farm-to-market roads (FMR) meant to increase farm productivity.

The Philippine Rural Development Project’s (PRDP) Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) for Bicol gave the green light to the PHP198.69-million rehabilitation and improvement of the 8.3-km. Hacienda-Rawis FMR in Tabaco City, Albay; and the PHP246.30-million concreting of the 15-km. San Agustin-Sawang FMR in Aroroy, Masbate.

The board also endorsed for funding this year two Investments in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) sub-projects worth PHP11 million for the municipalities of Sta. Elena and Labo, both in Camarines Norte.

DA regional information officer Emily Bordado said these projects are designed to increase the productivity and marketability of agriculture and fishery products in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Masbate, and Catanduanes through increased access to information, network, and support services.

"We expect that the farm and fishery household incomes would increase through engagement in value-adding activities and it would improve the protection and conservation of the natural resource base of identified enterprises through alternative livelihoods and support facilities,” Bordado said in an interview Wednesday.

The RPAB is the body that provides guidance, reviews and approves undertakings for funding under PRDP, which covers the PHP8.2-billion Intensified Building-Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) budget from 2018 to 2020.

Priority sub-projects will still undergo the regular PRDP review process. (PNA)