Representatives from the World Bank (WB) visited the Pilgrims Town of the North yesterday to assess the implementation of various projects in the province under the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).

For this mission, the World Bank and PRDP teams visited and at the same time inspected i-BUILD projects’ Oraan Bridge with Approaches and the Municipal Warehouse with Multi-Purpose Drying Pavement (MPDP), both of which are located in Barangay Cabanbanan.

The funding agency’s experts headed by Frauke Jungbluth, its lead agriculture economist, led the conduct of the three-day 8th World Bank Implementation Support Mission in the project areas. The mission aims to review the achievements towards the project development objectives.

During an Open Forum, the World Bank representatives got to see more of the projects through discussions with Municipal Agriculturist and Project Social and Environment Safeguards Head Engr. Arnold Raul E. Geronimo, Municipal Budget Officer/Municipal Project Management Implementing Unit Head Engr. Edgardo A. Valdez, Municipal Rice Coordinator Virginia O. Geronimo and Project Resident Engineer Ace Vicent Custodio. They also directed questions to the farmer-beneficiaries on positive impacts and effects of the aforementioned projects.

Agriculture Department Region – 1 Director (RD) Lucrecio Alviar, Jr. lauded the Local Government of Manaoag, owing to its active engagement to the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) which stirs positive impact to the lives of locals, mostly from the farming sector. He also congratulated Mayor Kim Amador and the Municipal Agriculture Office as Manaoag was recently adjudged “Rice Achievers Awardee” for the 6th time. As a result, he has pledged two (2) mechanical dryers and a compact rice mill (amounting to Php9.1 million) to our locality.

Also during the open forum, Mayor Kim thanked the World Bank delegates and the Department of Agriculture-PRDP Team for the 2 world-class projects bestowed to the townspeople of Manaoag. “We will gradually address the problems and issues of our farmers. In the Municipality of Manaoag, we support each other. Everyone, including our farmers, is part of the progress and development of our municipality”, he mentioned.

The funding of PRDP projects is under a counterparting scheme. For infrastructure projects, WB’s counterpart is 80 percent with 10 percent each for DA and recipient local government units (LGU).

Other World Bank representatives in attendance were Eli Weiss, Hanane Ahmed, Maria Theresa Quinones, Agnes Deshormes, Raoul Azanza, Luningning Bondoc, Jonas Bautista and Ernie Monteverde.

Also in attendance during the program were Regional Representatives of the Department of Agriculture/PRDP, MPMIU Engineer Rey Mangonon Galano, Municipal Heads led by Aldrin Aquino and Ms. Frelyn D. Palisoc, CPA, Project Resident Engineers’ Ace Vicent Custodio and Perlita Samson, GGU Rey M. Malagayo, Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Coordinator Mario Gutierrez, Punong Barangays’ Jim Aquino of Cabanbanan, Edwin Lacaste of Oraan East, Bobby Padilla of Oraan West and Richard Mendoza of Lelemaan, farmers’ associations, barangay officials and LGU personnel.

Local Youth Development Coordinator Brendon D. Natividad did a stellar job as emcee of the proceedings.