RP GETS $1.7-M GRANT FROM WORLD BANK

MANILA
, March 25, 2004
 (STAR)
By Ted P. Torres - The World Bank has extended $1.7 million in grants for the government’s procurement program and for rural development in Mindanao.

A $987,684 grant was approved to support project preparations for the second phase of the Mindanao Rural Development Project (MRDP). It is funded from the Japanese government’s Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) trust fund administered by the World Bank. Specifically, it will support the Department of Agriculture (DA) in contracting technical assistance and engaging the next set of local government units (LGUs) and communities for the second phase of the MRDP this year.

Another $716,000 in grant to strengthen government procurement capacity and fight corruption within the bureaucracy was likewise signed. It is funded from the Asian Financial Crisis Response Fund of the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) trust fund also administered by the World Bank.

World Bank officials said the grant for capacity building will help strengthen the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) to enforce and implement the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The MRDP was funded through a $22-million World Bank loan and a grant of $1.25 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The project addressed specific concerns of rural poor communities in five provinces, namely North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley, and Maguindanao.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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