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World Bank to fund river basin project in Bicol

Saturday, January 31, 2009 [ ]

THE Philippines plans to tap the World Bank to fund the multibillion-peso river basin and watershed management project in Bicol, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

Documents from NEDA showed that the project has a total cost of P3.74 billion, including the costs for physical and price contingencies.

Of the total cost, about 38 percent or P1.52 billion represents the loan while 62 percent or P2.45 billion will pertain to the government counterpart.

The project is a six-year initiative that will pilot a comprehensive development program on natural resources management and water resources within the context of a river basin planning management.

The project has four major components: institutional development, worth P274.76 million; watershed management and development (WMD), P826.67 million; flood and hazard mitigation, P1.8 billion; and irrigation modernization, P214.33 million.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the proponent agency.

“The Bio-diversity sub-project of the WMD is being proposed for funding under the Global Environment Facility of the World Bank,” the document read.

The DENR will be responsible for overall management and implementation of the WMD and will provide the required budget cover.

NEDA said the economic internal rate of return of the project package is estimated at 31 percent while the net present value stands at P2.14 billion, thus making the project “economically viable.”-- Darwin G. Amojelar


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