MANILA - The World Bank has approved a P22.4 billion ($508 million) loan and financial package for the development of infrastructure in rural communities across the country, Malacanang announced on Sunday.
In a radio interview, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said more than 70% of the fund will go to local government units for the development of farm-to-market roads, bridges, tire trucks, communal irrigation, potable water systems, post-harvest facilities, production facilities, fish landings, fish sanctuaries, storage facilities, trading posts, greenhouses, solar driers, and slope stabilization works.
He said the fund, tagged as the Philippine Rural Development Project, includes 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.
He said the fund, which will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture in the next six years, will “benefit more than two million farmers and fisherfolks.”
The fund is expected to result in the increase of around 5% of the real household income of farmers and fishermen; and a 30% increase in the income of the targeted beneficiaries through livelihood programs.
It is also expected to increase by seven percent the value of the beneficiaries’ products sold in markets.