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WB extends $57-M aid to DENR by another year


08:24 AM December 21st, 2012

By: DJ Yap, December 21st, 2012 08:24 AM

MANILA, Philippines—The World Bank has extended for another year its funding of a 5-year program worth $57 million that supports projects of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from wildlife management to the improvement of air quality and the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

The DENR said the international lender indicated its intent to continue financing the National Program Support for the Environment and Natural Resources Management Project (NPS-ENRMP), prompted by the department’s “substantial improvement” in performance.

“The funding extension for the NPS-ENRMP will provide impetus in the completion of the programs, which have a long-term and profound impact on the lives of all Filipinos,” Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said in a statement.

The project costs $57 million, $50 million of which comes from a World Bank loan, and $7 million from a grant by the Global Environment Facility.

The NPS-ENRMP began implementation in 2007 to strengthen the efficiency of the DENR in allocating its limited budget while improving the effectiveness of the delivery of its core functions and services.

Among the projects enrolled for funding under the NPS-ENRMP are forest boundary delineation, cadastral surveys and the National Greening Program.

Other activities include the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, biodiversity conservation program, soil conservation and watershed management, protected areas and wildlife management, assessment and rehabilitation of abandoned and inactive mine sites, air and water quality improvement, and solid waste management.

At the end of November, the DENR’s “physical accomplishment” was evaluated to have jumped to 88 percent from 55 percent recorded in 2011, the department said, quoting from a World Bank report.

Fund disbursement also increased by 60 percent, indicating a “strategic decision to target big ticket items,” it said.

Paje welcomed the extension of the World Bank funding and said the agency’s focus on the priority programs of the Aquino administration was a key factor in its high accomplishment rating.

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