MANILA (March 24) — Despite the recent mess which the World Bank went into concerning its funding of road projects, it now has approved an additional US$10-million loan for the Philippines. The loan is intended to help complete critical infrastructure components of the second agrarian reform communities development projects in eight provinces.
In a statement, the World Bank said that in addition to assisting the ARCs increase crop yields by 70 percent, some 3,900 farmer beneficiaries will also benefit from the construction and rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems (CIS) being implemented by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
These projects cover 4,153 hectares in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Bataan, Zambales, Quezon, Mindoro Occidental, Albay, Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental, it said.
These investments in communal irrigation facilities would raise farmers’ incomes and help them escape poverty, said Bert Hofman, WB Country Director.
In January 2003, the World Bank and the Philippine government signed the US$ 50-million loan to kick off the second phase of ARCDP to reduce rural poverty and enhance the quality of life of agrarian reform beneficiaries, building on the success and lessons learned from the phase 1.
Implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the project intends to increase household incomes of agrarian reform beneficiaries in about 80 agrarian reform communities throughout the country by providing rural infrastructure and support services to increase farm productivity and income.