DA projects generate over 11,000 jobs in Mindanao
DAVAO CITY – The Department of Agriculture Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) said it generated over of 11,500 jobs and raked some P253.43 million in wages from its infrastructure projects since it started in 2013 up to the present.
Infrastructure development under the Intensified Building-Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (IBUILD) component implements farm-tomarket roads, bridges, irrigation systems and potable water systems in collaboration with local government units and the private contractors.
“Some 4,175 skilled workers were hired ranging from engineers, drivers, masons, heavy equipment operators, welders, steelmen, carpenters and foremen. While, unskilled workers such as laborers and helpers counted at 7,335 over the period of over 3 years and counting,” PRDP Mindanao cluster director Lealyn Ramos said.
“PRDP is still halfway through its project life, so we still have a number of big-ticket projects ready for implementation this year and more are on the various stages of procurement so we are expecting to create more jobs along the way,” she added.
At least 1,506 workers were hired in 2013 where P29.69 million was spent for wages. In 2014, a total of P105.11 million was paid for 5,232 workers; P95.44 million worth of wages for 3,896 workers in 2015; and P23.19 million worth of wages for 876 workers in the first quarter of 2016.
IBUILD component head Engr. Maria Fe Gabunales said that based on record, at least 50% of the workers of the construction works were locally sourced especially unskilled labors and helpers.“This is part of our implementation agreement that local labors would be part of the construction to promote not just employment but also project ownership among the locals,” she said.
“The project is bent on job creation and increasing of incomes of farmers. The bigger employment generation would come from the enterprise development where we pour in funds to assist people’s organization enhance or develop their agriculture enterprise,” Ramos said. PRDP is a six-year special program of DA focused on establishing a modern, value chain oriented, and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. It is jointly funded by World Bank, national government and the local government units throughout the regions in Mindanao.
The Philippine Rural Development Project has contributed at least 11,500 jobs in Mindanao as it lays down agriculture infrastructure projects.