MANILA – A loan and financial package in the amount of P22.4 billion ($508 million) has been approved by the World Bank, Malacanang said on Sunday. The fund, which has been given the name Philippine Rural Development Project, is to be spent on the development of infrastructure and other projects in rural areas of the Philippines
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that over 70% of the fund will be given to local government units for the construction of farm-to-market roads; bridges; irrigation and potable water systems; post-harvest, production and storage facilities; fisheries; and greenhouses, among others.
He added that part from infrastructure projects, a $7-million grant for the conservation and protection of the seas and marine-protected areas in Tayabas, Quezon; Green Island in Palawan; Ticao Pass in Sorsogon and Masbate; Guimaras; Danajon Bank in Bohol; and Guiuan in Eastern Samar is also included as part of the fund.
Coloma noted that the fund will “benefit more than two million farmers and fisherfolks,” as it is disbursed and set into motion by the Department of Agriculture over the next six years,
Furthermore, the implementation of said projects and livelihood programs supported by the fund is forecast to generate a 5% increase in the real household income of farmers and fishermen; a 30% increase in the income of its beneficiaries; and a 7% increase in the market value of the beneficiaries’ products.