World Bank set to begin MRDP Phase 2 in Region 12

Here’s an article by MindaNews’ Allen Estabillo on one of the World Bank’s take on development in Mindanao:

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/02 April) — The World Bank plans to
institutionalize a decentralized system of delivery for agriculture and
fisheries services in Mindanao through the second phase of the Mindanao Rural
Development Program (MRDP2) that will start this second quarter.

Joachim von Amsberg, World Bank country director, said the program will focus
on setting mechanisms that will promote participation, transparency and
accountability among beneficiaries in at least 225 municipalities in Mindanao
that would be covered by the program.
“MRDP2 encompasses strong approaches related to community-driven development
which will help promote the active and continued participation of indigenous
peoples and other disadvantaged groups in the development process,” he said in
a statement.

The World Bank’s board of directors approved late last month a loan package
worth US$83.752 million for the government to jumpstart the implementation of
MRDP2.

The program, which is part of a four-phase Adaptable Program Loan (APL), is
aimed at improving livelihood opportunities and ensuring food security in more
than half of the 422 municipalities in 27 provinces of Mindanao.

Amsberg said MRDP2, which will be managed by the Department of Agriculture,
will also pilot test a performance-based grant scheme for local government
units (LGUs) covered by the program.

He said MRDP2 will also provide additional grants to LGUs for local or
devolved development infrastructure projects.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the implementation of MRDP2 complements
the government’s efforts to promote poverty reduction and rural growth in
Mindanao.

“We hope that with this project, Mindanawons will experience greater economic
and integration opportunities, particularly to indigenous communities and
other disadvantaged groups,” Yap said.

All four provinces in the area would be covered by MRDP2. Southwestern
Mindanao comprises South and North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.

Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato, were among the pilot provinces covered by the
program during its initial phase. MRDP2 will cover the 10 municipalities of
South Cotabato and seven in Sarangani.

The first phase of MRDP, which was completed in December 2004, covered 32
towns in five provinces in Mindanao.

“It brought about the active engagement of LGUs and rural communities in
Mindanao towards a common agricultural development agenda and demonstrated a
credible and doable approach for developing decentralized models of
agriculture sector services for the entire country, not just Mindanao,” the
World Bank statement noted.

On its third phase (MRDP3), it said the project will continue to provide
support for all LGUs covered by phase 2, focusing on deepening the program by
ensuring that all eligible municipalities are fully engaged.

The fourth phase (MRDP4) will focus on “reinforcing the key thrusts,
underpinning the overall program and in securing both program and
institutional sustainability of the development initiatives undertaken in
support of increasing agricultural production and alleviating rural poverty.”
(Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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