The Bicol region will receive $24.9 million worth of infrastructure projects with the help of the World Bank Group, which is prepared to extend to the Philippines funding worth up to $508 million.
The infrastructure projects will be implemented through the new Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) to be launched this week by President Aquino.
The implementing arm will be the Department of Agriculture (DA), while the World Bank Group will coordinate through its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS).
The CPS has programmed $508 million worth of projects aimed to improve the productivity of small farmers and fisherfolk and expand their access to markets.
The CPS is the World Bank Group’s “business plan” in support of the Philippines’ development strategy. It is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group namely: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the World Bank; the International Finance Corp. (IFC) focused on the private sector in developing countries; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders.
Meanwhile, the Bicol municipalities that will directly benefit from these farm-to-market roads include Basud, Jose Panganiban, Libmanan, Mercedes, Oas, Pasacao, Sipocot and Sta. Elena.
Other parts of the country will also benefit from infrastructure projects including farm-to-market roads, bridges, tire tracks, communal irrigation, potable water systems, post-harvest facilities, production facilities, fish landings, fish sanctuaries, storage facilities, trading posts, green houses, solar driers, and slope stabilization works.
World Bank country director Motoo Konishi said in a press statement that the project would encourage farmers and fisherfolk to increase and diversify production and to engage in value-adding activities that can increase their income.
“Investments in rural infrastructure will benefit Bicolano producers, traders, and the rural population through better transport infrastructure, reduced travel time, and improved access to markets,” Konishi added.