Issue of September 1, 2019
Mt. Province
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RDC calls for joint planning for CAR’s inter regional projects
by Redjie Melvic Cawis / PIA

The Regional Development Council is calling for joint planning, evaluation, and monitoring of projects covering Cordillera and other regions.

“We are doing joint monitoring but at the start we should have done joint planning of projects,” RDC-Cordillera Vice Chair and National Economic Development Authority Regional Director Milagros Rimando said during the Joint Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) meeting of the Cordillera and the Cagayan Region held at the NEDA Region 2 office in Tuguegarao City last week to thresh out concerns about the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP) and the Forestland Management Project (FMP).

Rimando explained that while there are project monitoring activities being conducted by the RDC through the RPMC Inspectorate Team at the start of the different projects, there should be involvement of the different stakeholders particularly for inter-regional projects.

“We should have planned together whatever project that may cross Cordillera and the other regions to avoid problems and ensure better implementation,” she said.

Rimando said that in the past months, the several issues from the different stakeholders, local government units, the RPMC validation and the media hounded the implementation of both projects.

Among the concerns for CRPIP are non-issuance of a free, prior and informed consent particularly for the affected indigenous peoples in the Cordillera, issues on environmental compliance certificate and compensation of sources of water and presence of illegal Chinese workers.

The CRPIP is a flagship infrastructure project financed by China under the Duterte administration’s “Build Build Build” program with a total project cost of P4.372 billion. It covers Pinukpuk, Kalinga (1,170 hectares) in the Cordillera, Tuao (7,150 hectares) and Piat (380 has.) of Cagayan in Region 2, the main proponent of the project.

Meanwhile, issues for the FMP include the absence of a Watershed Management Council, delay in development and maintenance and protection of the Ibulao sub-watershed.

The FMP is a 10-year (2012-2022) Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Japan International Cooperation Agency project that aims to strengthen forestland management in three critical river basins through the implementation of collaborative and comprehensive Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) strategies.

The FMP is being implemented in Ifugao in the Cordillera, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino in Region 2, and Nueva Ecija in Region 3. 

The project is expected to integrate conservation and development-oriented activities with full participation and capacitation of local communities. These include 147 peoples organizations within 24 sub-watershed areas as well as the DENR and other stakeholders.

The total project investment cost is estimated at P5,870.64 million. Total cost to be borne by Government of Philippines is P1,162.26M and total cost to be covered by the loan is P4,708.38M.

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