Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) seeking out of fresh funding for World Bank-supported rural-based projects under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) will ensure an ‘unlimited corruption’ fund for DA’s Proceso Alcala and his cohorts in the agriculture department.

“The PRDP is essentially Public Private Partnership (PPP) program in the rural and agriculture sectors, mainly funded by the World Bank (WB) which is a major stumbling block to the farmers’ cause for genuine land reform and rural development,” says KMP chair Rafael Mariano.

“The WB imposes anti-farmer policies and conditionalities as precondition for its loans and aid, primary among those is the market-assisted land reform program that prevents free land distribution. These projects ensure that vast tract of lands remain under the ownership and control of a few elite families, landlords and corporations.”

“Alcala said that the DA would have spent the entire USD500-million or P27.3-billion funding by early 2017 and would ask for an additional  USD450 or P20-billion from the WB, but if the said projects have genuinely benefited farmers and uplifted the state of local agriculture production is a different situation altogether. Maraming pondo ang agrikultura, pero pinakamahirap ang mga magbubukid at mamamayan sa kanayunan,” said Mariano.

“The PRDP is funding projects that are prone to corruption, including farm-to-market roads, local and national subprojects that are mostly infrastructure in nature,” the KMP leader said.

“We have no rural development to speak of as long as farmers remain landless and the agriculture sector remain backward, pre-industrial and manual,” said Mariano as he noted that 9 out of 10 Filipino farmers remain landless and deprived of necessary subsidies and production support services from the government despite billions in pesos allocated for agriculture and so-called rural projects.” ###