DA enhances infrastructure monitoring

January 6, 2012 11:45 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 6 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is further improving the monitoring of its infrastructure projects to help ensure public funds appropriated for these are spent accordingly and work is carried out in accordance with specifications.

"We've started geo-tagging infrastructure projects so we're able to track these online from project identification to bidding and at various stages of completion," DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said.

He noted information on such matters is available at the Mindanao Rural Development Program website.

DA instituted geo-tagging as Alcala said some 62 percent of this agency's P61.7-billion budget for 2012 is for agriculture- and fisheries-supporting infrastructure nationwide.

Among such infrastructure are irrigation systems and farm-to-market roads (FMRs).

"We make sure we don't only build roads and dams — we build them better, monitor them more closely and ensure they serve the purpose for which they were built," Alcala said.

Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) earlier identified infrastructure as the main driver of farm yield improvement at the national level, accounting for some 40 percent of such enhancement.

The other drivers and corresponding estimated contribution to yield improvement are research and development (25 percent), extension services (15 percent) and environmental factors (20 percent), PhilRice reported.

Aside from helping boost agriculture and fisheries, DA said its FMR program alone generated from January to October 2011 a total 10,907 jobs nationwide.

"The 12 corn post-harvest processing and trading centers we established through National Agri-Business Corporation were also able to generate a total 3,668 jobs during the same period," Alcala added. (PNA) scs/CJT/utb

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