Two DA foreign-assisted projects get ‘good practice award’

Two foreign-assisted projects (FAPs) of the Department of Agriculture recently received respective ‘Good Practice Award’ or GPA from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). “It’s a wonderful feat for the Department. This is a validation of our efforts in delivering reliable, transparent and efficient service to our clienteles, particularly farmers, fisherfolk and local government units,” said DA undersecretary for operations Joel S. Rudinas, who represented Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.The two award-winning DA projects are the Mindanao Rural Development Program Phase 2 (MRDP2) and Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector (INFRES).Undersecretary Rudinas along with MRDP2 and INFRES teams accepted the awards from NEDA deputy director-general Rolando Tungpalan, during the 44th Project Implementation Officers’ (PIO) meeting at the DA-NIA office, in Quezon City, December 18, 2012.The MRDP2 was recognized for resolving recurrent issues in project implementation with its entry on “Applied geotagging technology: An efficient transparency tool.”The INFRES was cited for achieving desired output through good governance with its Ligao participatory governance for social economic enterprise development (LPG-SEED) program.The MRDP2, implemented in all Mindanao provinces, is funded by the World Bank, with counterparts from the DA and beneficiary communities. It seeks to improve rural incomes and achieve food security through the implementation of agri-fishery infrastructure, livelihood enterprise, and natural resources management projects.Similarly, the INFRES aims to increase rural incomes and improve the living conditions of small and poor ruralfolk in selected regions with high agricultural and fishery potential by providing a package of infrastructure (farm-to-market roads, communal irrigation systems, and potable water systems) and capacity building support to targeted LGUs and farm communities.The INFRES project features microfinancing, alternative livelihood promotion and training, and capacity building, and enhanced participatory governance of host communities. It is bankrolled by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and International Labor Organization, and managed by Asian Development Bank in partnership with the DA.The MRDP2 has pioneered in using the geo-tagging technology which solves a perennial problem on project monitoring, validation and evaluation, particularly in conflict-affected project areas and hard-to-reach sites, said MRDP2 deputy program director Arnel V. De Mesa.Geo-tagging is a process of adding geographical data such as latitude and longitude coordinates, date, elevation, terrain, estimated land area, and distance, among other information, which are captured and stored in electronic and printed form such as photographs and videos.“Each of our projects, especially infrastructure, has its own unique ID (identification). Thus geo-tagging is an effective anti-corruption tool. It eliminates duplication and overlapping of infra projects through collaboration of GPS data thereby eliminating fictitious and bogus projects, and the false fabrication of reports,” De Mesa said. (By Sherwin Manual, DA-MRDP; and Marlo Asis, DA-AFIS)--Reference:DA Undersecretary Joel Rudinas - 09202496530