AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella 3rd pledged to implement programs and projects to alleviate poverty, develop agribusiness, generate employment and promote peace and order in settlement areas to be funded under the Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Estrella created the Project Development Team, which is tasked to find out which among the identified 57 settlement areas in the country that need assistance to improve their living conditions.
He said on Sunday that the team, to be led by Dr. Ma. Cristina Dagdag, will prepare and package project proposals that can provide various support services that may include training, market linkaging, credit assistance, farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigations, and potable water systems.
The project will be implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) with funds to be sourced from Japan, France, Spain and other countries.
Dagdag will be assisted by team members Anacleta Mariano, Provincial Agrarian Reform program officer 1, and Jose Arevalo, Paul Joseph Gamalinda, and Henry Zapata of the Foreign-Assisted Special Project Office.
Estrella said the latest move is in line with the priority program of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to develop agriculture, enhance food production and eradicate hunger and poverty.
The ODA is a government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries, including the Philippines.
In the past, the ODA has played a significant role in the country's rural development program by financing among others the DAR's special projects such as the Mindanao Sustainable Settlement Area Development, the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development and other settlement areas in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.