WASHINGTON, JUNE 17, 2021 – More than 300,000 rural residents are set to directly benefit from fresh rounds of funding for the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) which is designed to increase rural incomes and enhance farm and fishery productivity in the targeted areas in the country.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$280 million additional financing and Euro18.3 million grant for the PRDP to support 267 climate-resilient rural infrastructure and 287 enterprise development subprojects to boost rural incomes, and strengthen planning and implementation capacities among local government units and producer organizations.
This additional financing will help address climate vulnerability in agriculture through a range of investments, including rural roads designed to withstand adverse weather events to ensure uninterrupted connectivity and access to markets; and communal irrigation subprojects to address water scarcity and avoid the risk of large-scale crop failure. Other programmed investments include warehouse facilities and solar dryers to prevent post-harvest crop losses, and greenhouses to protect selected crops from extreme heat and support improved water management, among others.
“This project boosts the country’s efforts to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity by targeting investments in agriculture, which is a major source of livelihood and income in the rural areas,” said Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “We hope that this additional financing will further foster partnerships in productive investments between farmers’ groups and commercial buyers, contributing to improved market access and higher income opportunities for rural residents.”
Implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA), this additional financing builds upon the gains achieved by PRDP which started in 2014.
Under the PRDP, the DA provides technical and financial support to the planning process of provincial, city and municipal governments, as well as in the implementation and delivery of services, rural infrastructure, and enterprise development based on provincial and city commodity investment plans, value chain analyses, and suitable production areas.
“This integrated planning approach is an important step in merging local priorities and national development programs, thus making the DA and local governments effective partners in the development of the farming and fishing sector,” said Eli Weiss, World Bank Senior Agricultural Economist.
The additional financing also expands the inclusiveness of PRDP by supporting more local government units in Mindanao that experience poverty and conflict. A grant from the European Union aims to co-finance and provide incentives for the Mindanao local government units with a higher incidence of poverty, lower capacity, more conflict-affected areas, and larger numbers of indigenous people to participate in PRDP. Local government units in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are particularly encouraged to participate.
To date, 454 rural infrastructure sub-projects, benefiting 608,887 households have been approved, and 261 are completed. Around 1,229 km of farm-to-market roads have been completed, and 859 km are under construction.
More than 637 enterprise projects have been approved, benefiting 136,267 members 46 percent of whom are women. Of these subprojects, 70 percent are completed, while another 30 percent (185) are under implementation.
In a recent evaluation, users of the rural roads reported that their real household incomes increased by an average of 36 percent, while beneficiaries of enterprise development subprojects increased by an average of 113 percent, while having a 51 percent increase in their annual marketed output.
Indirect benefits included increases in cultivated area, more competitive prices for commodities, faster response in medical emergencies, and increased school enrollment and attendance.
The World Bank has been a partner of the Philippines for 75 years providing support to development projects and programs in the country. Since 1945, it has mobilized funding, global knowledge, and partnerships to support the Philippines’ efforts to alleviate poverty, upgrade infrastructure, improve health, nutrition, and education, strengthen resilience against climate change and natural disasters, promote peace, and enhance global competitiveness.