by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Projects which will address poverty, increase productivity and immediately restart the Mindanao economy will get the bulk of the P2.1-B European Union Fund Grant which the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will manage and implement through its development partners.

Grains silos and milling facilities for rice and corn production areas, ice plants and cold storages for fishing communities, processing facilities for coconut and possibly a manufacturing facility for Mindanao's natural rubber produce will be among the specific projects included in the list of priorities identified by MinDA.

The identification of the projects were made during a planning workshop which included representatives of the different sectors conducted by MinDA Friday last week in the Elai Conference Center in Kidapawan City following the approval of the €35.5-M Grant Fund for Mindanao.

The loan documents were signed yesterday by the Philippine Government represented by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and the European Union Delegation led by Charge d'Affairs Thomas Wearning and Enrico Strampelli.

While MinDA is the implementing agency of the Mindanao Peace and Development Rise Program (MinPAD-Rise), the projects will be undertaken by its development partners.

Of the €35.5-M Fund, €20-M will be for projects under the World Bank Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) while the remaining €15.5-M will be handled by the German Development Agency GIZ.

MinDA will organize a Project Management Office (PMO) to identify the projects to be funded and directly supervise and oversee the project implementation.

The biggest advantage of utilizing Grant Funds from Donor Development Agencies like the EU, USAID, JICA, AUSAID and others is that this does not go through the regular government project identification and budgeting process.

This allows greater flexibility in the identification of projects and faster disbursement and implementation.

I have directed the MinDA workers, especially the Area Management Officers, to coordinate with their respective governors and organizations of farmers and fishermen to identify their needs which fall within the list of priority projects.

All of the projects will be implemented starting this year and are expected to be completed by mid-2021 to immediately propel economic recovery in Mindanao.

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