The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) conducted the Farm-to-Market Road Development Program (FMRDP) Mid-Year Assessment from June 26 to 27, 2023 in Quezon City.
Participants in the said activity of DA-BAFE, as the Secretariat and Project Management Office (PMO) of FMRDP, were representatives from Regional Agricultural Engineering Divisions (RAEDs) of the DA – Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) and FMRDP staff.
DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico welcomed the participants and highlighted the significance of evaluating the accomplishments for the first semester of the year. “This is a very important activity kaya nag-allocate kami sa BAFE ng pondo for this. This mid-year conference, we have to assess ano ba ang nagawa natin in the last six months,” said Dir Rico.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated a budget of P 17.2 billion for FMR projects in FY 2024 distributed to the different regions, wherein the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is in-charge of procurement, bidding, awarding among others, and the Department of Agriculture through BAFE and the RAEDs in-charge of monitoring.
“Part of your work is to closely monitor ilan na ba yung nacoconstruct ng DPWH,” Dir. Rico instructed the BAFE staff and RAEDs and encouraged them to improve their fund utilization to reach at least 90 to 95 percent disbursement for MOOE this year.
Activities that would be undertaken in the following months relevant to FMR project implementation include the seven components of FMR budget allocation (construction, rehabilitation, and repair; operation and maintenance; capacity development; monitoring and evaluation; regulation and enforcement; research and development; and FMRNP), updating and revision of FMR guidelines, working on the BAFE-RAED-PRDP functional relationship to understand how does it relate to PRDP FMR, and coordination with DAR in their Farm Bridges Project (Tulay ng Pangulo), Dir. Rico announced.
Updates on the agreements on FMRNP Localization meeting during the FMRDP PMO and RAEDs First Quarter Assessment last February 2023 were presented by Engr. Christian Manalang from BAFE-Special Engineering Programs and Projects Division (SEPPD) while the FMR physical accomplishments for FY 2016 to 2023 including FMRs under the BAYANIHAN II Act was discussed by Engr. Reimarc Marcaida from BAFE-SEPPD. Moreover, updates on FMR Fund Utilization (MOOE) per Operating Units were presented by Mr. Aljon Barrameda of BAFE-Administrative and Finance Division (AFD).
A consultation on Revised General Guidelines in the implementation of FMRDP with the RAEDs was facilitated by Engr. Manalang while the Regional Budget Allocation (FY 2023 FMRDP Fund) was presented by Mrs. Jamaica Ibañez.
The salient features of the National Farm-to-Market Roads Network Plan (FMRNP) 2023-2028 was discussed by SEPPD Interim Chief Engr. Allan Goleng. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in his July 2022 SONA, said that his administration will prepare a farm-to-market road (FMR) masterplan to ensure food security in the Philippines. The FMRNP, a prelude to a more detailed and longer-term masterplan, aims to lay the foundation and present an integrated baseline data, according to Engr. Goleng.
Representatives from various RAEDs presented the Good Practices and Areas for Improvement in the DA Implementation of FMRs and the Localization of the National FMRs Network Plan 2023-2028. ###DA-BAFE ICTST
This article was verified by EPDSD Chief Engr. Noemi Carpio