August 15, 2018

MANILA— Projects and programs funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) through loans and grants made significant contributions to the Philippines’ efforts in achieving targets laid out in the medium-term development plan, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

In its 2017 ODA Portfolio Review Report, NEDA outlined how 27 programs and projects aligned with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 delivered positive results to different sectors. These programs were reported to have contributed to 30 sector outcome indicators in five chapters of the PDP.

The PDP 2017-2022 is the first medium-term plan anchored on this Administration’s 0-10 point Socioeconomic Agenda, and geared towards the country’s collective long-term vision, called AmBisyon Natin 2040. A comprehensive document with 21 chapters, the PDP has accompanying results matrices that specify targets and measurable indicators.

“ODA is important in the implementation of the PDP strategies, programs and projects. With the ODA facility, we are able to achieve an optimal mix of funding for development projects. Ensuring that these projects bring us closer to our development objectives is our main focus,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

In the infrastructure sector, NEDA noted the contribution of ODA-funded projects in the decline of the average travel time in key corridors.

Naming a few, NEDA said the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Road Upgrading and Preservation Project, which was assisted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), reduced the travel time from Lipa Floral Garden Junction in Batangas to Alaminos Junction in Laguna from 95 to 20 minutes. Likewise, travel time from San Jose-Rizal Road Section to Mamburao-Abra De Ilog Road Section, Mindoro Province was reduced from 7-8 hours to 3-4 hours. From Viga-Bagamanoc Section to end of Bacak-Minaile Section, Catanduanes, the average travel time was cut down from 74 minutes to 28 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the agriculture sub-sectors, agrarian reform and food production projects have increased palay yields. For the Japan-assisted Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project III (ARISP), it is noted that the palay yields in agrarian reform communities such as Kapangan and Kibungan in Benguet, and Dumalag, Capiz, increased from 2.89 to 5.56 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha) attributable to the projects.

ARISP involves the provision of irrigation facilities, farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities, and rural water supply systems. So far, a total of 120 communal irrigation systems have been rehabilitated and constructed and 7,068 farmers have used improved technology in their farming methods.

The Department of Agriculture’s Rapid Food Production Enhancement Programme, which is being supported by the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), increased the palay yield in its target areas  in Region X and Region VIII from 2.99 MT/ha to 4.51 MT/ha.

Through the said project, 27 post-harvest and 24 agriculture-support facilities have been constructed, while 109 irrigators associations, along with more than 5,000 farmers, have been trained.

“The Philippine government has always been grateful to all its development partners and donor countries for their continued support to the country’s development programs,” Pernia said.