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Negros has biggest chunk of anti-poverty program allocation

manila bulletin blue logoBacolod City, Negros Occ. – The province has the biggest allocation of P2.1 billion in infrastructure projects among recipient provinces under government’s Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAP).

The Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster (HDPRCC) has identified Negros Occidental as one of the 10 priority provinces in the country with highest magnitude of poor residents, but with high growth potential.

Agrarian Reform Undersecretary for Foreign-Assisted Special Projects Herman Ongkiko confirmed this in a forum on ASAP and observance of the National Extreme Poverty Consciousness Week held Thursday at the Bacolod Pavilion Hotel.

ASAP is a major HDPRCC program with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as lead convenor for Negros Occidental.

DAR Region 6 Director Stephen Leonidas earlier said the budget endorsed and allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is only P1.2 billion for farm-to-market roads where block farms are located.

However, Ongkiko said the total cost endorsed by the Department of Agriculture was actually P2.1 billion after Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. requested the inclusion of other areas outside block farms, but which has still a high number of poor residents.

Ongkiko said with the help of other agencies like the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Public Works and Highways, the DAR will make certain the acceleration of the movement of funds and the implementation of the anti-poverty program in the province.

“ASAP is not a stand-alone infrastructure project,” Ongkiko said. “It should have integration.”

He added, “We combine infrastructure to support agri-enterprise, particularly for high-value commercial crops, focusing mainly on agrarian reform communities.”

The infrastructure projects are primarily for farm-to-market roads meant to help farmers efficiently deliver their products to markets and for the delivery of more accessible support services from the government, Ongkiko said.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/negros-has-biggest-chunk-of-anti-poverty-program-allocation/

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