WB loans $70M for RP irrigation system
Posted August 11, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 14:12:00 08/11/2009
Filed Under: Infrastructure, Banking
MANILA, Philippines – The World Bank has approved a $70.36 million loan to help the government improve irrigation service delivery and enhance food security in the country, officials said.
The loan, together with a $43.23 million counterpart fund from the government, will finance the first phase of a 15-year program dubbed Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP), which is aimed at enhancing the National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) financial viability and institutional capacity, said Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, who inked the loan agreement with World Bank.
The first phase of PIDP will enable NIA to transfer its operation and maintenance responsibilities in 58 selected national irrigation systems (NIS) to Irrigators’ Associations composed of farmer-water users and raise irrigation efficiency and promote reliable access to irrigation water among farmers in the selected NISs, added Teves.
The total cost of the 15-year program is $413.59 million, of which $290.36 million will come from World Bank and $123.23 from the government as counterpart fund.
World Bank country director Bert Hofman said PIDP would help improve the investment climate through supporting agricultural productivity and infrastructure investments and instituting better governance in the irrigation sector.
“This project fits well into our strategy of making growth work for the poor. International experience suggests that getting users involved in managing those irrigation systems is key to better results,” said Hoffman in a statement.
“It [the loan] is not a one-time improvement but a long-term reform. It will reduce NIA’s reliance on government subsidies and free up resources for rural development,” Teves also said in a statement.
The second phase will focus on institutional and policy reforms in the sector and expansion of the modernization of the national irrigation systems, including pilot arrangements for the devolution of the Communal Irrigation Systems to local government units.
The third phase will consolidate the reforms in the first two phases as well as NIA’s role in the sector, help ensure impact sustainability and complete the modernization of all the NIS and the transfer of operation and maintenance responsibilities to Irrigators’ Associations.
Projects on irrigation and improving governance in the sector would help curb food security issues in the country, said Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.