A proposed project to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), RAPID Growth, which will be implemented in 2017-2022, is a PhP 2.3-billion project that aims to propel agriculture-based processing enterprises and entrepreneurial communities to become innovative, productive, and competitive so that they will be capacitated in meeting the challenges of the global market.

Specifically, this project aims to provide focused, firm-level, value chain-based, and climate-smart assistance and financing program to micro and small businesses,  through  enabling sectoral and trade policies which are designed to provide enhanced access to institutional, regional, and world markets.


  • Met with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to discuss the steps in the submission of the Project Proposal to the following agencies: DTI for finalization; National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) for review of project design; Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for financial negotiations; Office of the President for letter of authority; and the IFAD Board by September.
  • Conducted the Final Design Mission with interviews with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Small Business Corp (SB Corp), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and Department of Finance (DOF)—and filed visits to Regions VIII, X, XI and XII on project administration and financial matters.

  • Presented RAPID Growth to the Economic Development Councils of Regions VIII, X, XI, XII and Caraga and secured endorsements from their respective Regional Development Councils. Endorsements were issued subject to recommendations and observations by committee members during the presentation.
  • Coordinated with IFAD official Mr Tawfiq Al Zabri on visit to Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation on further details of cooperation on the RAPID Growth Project.
  • Presented RAPID Growth Proposal to NEDA-ICC. NEDA-ICC cabinet committee (CabCom) deferred the approval of the proposal and instructed DTI to: present a successful SME development program that the project intends to replicate; present detailed project coverage providing information of names of individuals, business entities and institutions, nature and location of business, proposed interventions and resources allotted to them; and, project results that show how the project will contribute to the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) results matrix.
  • Convened Cluster Coordinators meeting. The cluster coordinators discussed the requirements by the ICC CabCom and agreed on the information and data to be collected including allocating target product volume/value for the project, target cluster for each project province, and deliverables based on proposed project LogFrame and Cluster plans.
  • Prepared and conducted Regional Operations Group (ROG) meeting of representatives from regional offices and provincial offices of RAPID priority projects, with the following outputs:
    • Regional and provincial directors and/or representatives were briefed on the proposed RAPID Growth Project which was then being considered and evaluated at the ICC Cabcom;
    • Participants were provided information on the Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) and how it will be drafted and validated for each cluster in each covered province; and,
    • Regional and provincial directors or representatives validated submissions of enrolled clusters in each region.
  • Provided technical inputs to the IFAD Small Grant Agreement in support for the approval of RAPID Growth Project. Draft agreement was endorsed by Undersecretary Maglaya to Secretary Lopez for onward approval of the Department of Finance.  Small Grant Agreement is in the amount of US$500,000 to be used in the conduct of VC studies for the identified provinces of RAPID Growth. 
  • Conducted the following Consultative Meetings for the drafting of Provincial industry cluster Strategic Investment Plans:
    • Meeting with stakeholders of calamansi cluster in Agusan del Sur on 11 December 2017
    • Meeting with stakeholders of cacao cluster in Davao del Norte on 13 December 2017
    • Conducted consultative meeting among stakeholders of coffee cluster in Bukidnon on 11 December 2017
    • Meeting with stakeholders of coco coir cluster in Leyte on 21 December 2017
  • Received and reviewed the following drafts of Strategic Investment Plans (SIPs):
    • Cacao of Davao del Norte. Requested and received endorsement from Region XI’s Regional Director Belenda Q Ambi. SIP was forwarded to NEDA- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environement Staff (ANRES) for further comments.
    • Coffee of Bukidnon. Requested endorsement from Region X, after comments of the Bukidnon provincial office were included in the revised report. SIP was forwarded to NEDA ANRES for further comments.
    • Calamansi of Agusan del Sur. Received partially-completed report, and coordinated with consultant, Mr Louie Pacana, on how further data would be collated and included in the report.
    • Coco coir of Leyte. Received report and forwarded to appropriate regional offices and to IFAD for comments. SIP for revision.


  • Finalized Technical Expert’s Terms of Reference (TOR) for the drafting of preparatory value chain studies for the IFAD Design Mission
  • Facilitated conduct of IFAD Design Mission:
    • Collation of available value chain studies
    • Preparation and distribution of the Guide Questionnaire on priority value chain/industry cluster
    • Conduct of Focused Group Discussion for selected clusters
    • Preparation and presentation of preliminary results to IFAD
    • Preliminary meeting with IFAD Philippine Country Manager Mr. Omar Zafar on the components of the Design Mission
    • Meeting with visiting IFAD Philippine Country Manager Mr. Omar Zafar to discuss inclusion in the financing aspect of the project proposal: Equity financing and Remittance financing
  • Facilitated inclusion of RAPID Growth to DTI Process Improvement Projects (PIPs)
  • Coordinated the conduct of the following meeting/activities:
    • Study visit by South-South Exposure Visit from the Government of Republic of South Africa to IFAD supported project in the Philippines
    • Meeting of IFAD Southern Africa Study Mission at SB Corporation
  • Preparatory meeting for the RAPID Growth Project Design Mission
  • Provided technical support to the Pre Design Mission:
    • Finalized Terms of Reference of the mission
    • Organized Industry Cluster Workshops for the seven (7) priority cluster coordinators and assisting coordinators.
    • Coordinated the preparation for site visits in the following regions:
      • Region VI – wearables and homestyles
      • Region VII – Processed fruit, cacao, and furniture and furnishings
      • Region XI – Cacao, coco coir
      • Region XII – Rubber and processed fruits
      • Region X – coco coir, coffee and processed fruits and nuts
  • Organized a Field Visit in Davao City from 05-09 September 2016
  • Organized Pre-Design Mission meetings among the NGAs, private sectors, financing institutions and other organizations, as follows:
    • Meeting with NEDA, DOF, Landbank: September 13, 2016
    • Meeting with DA and with Agencies with related projects/programs (DAR – ConVERGE, DOST – Set UP, DSWD – SLP): September 14, 2016
    • Meeting on Standards and Food Safety (DTI-BPS, DTI-PAB, DTI-CPAB, SGS, FDA): September 14, 2016
    • Meeting with Private Sectors (Philippine Chamber of Handicrafts Inc., Phil Bamboo Foundation, Chamber of Furniture Industry of the Philippines, Philippine Coffee Alliance, Nestle Corporate Affairs, PhilFoodex, CEFE Network): September 14, 2016
    • Meeting with Communications Companies (Smart and PLDT): September 15, 2016
    • Meeting with DBP and SBCorp: September 15, 2016
  • Conducted wrap up meeting with key partner and oversight agencies, DOF, NEDA, DAR, DOST, DA and PCA.
  • Provided inputs to the draft version of the Aide Memoire on the IFAD-DTI Pre Design Mission, preparatory to the presentation to DTI executives and partner and oversight agencies.
  • Provided technical support to the conduct of Feasibility Study for the RAPID Growth Project:
    • Drafted Memorandum of Agreement with PIDS and Terms of Reference for the Feasibility Study, preparatory to negotiations for government-to-government procurement of conduct of FS for the RAPID project.
    • Prepared Terms of Reference (ToR) for the consultants for the 7 detailed investment plans and for the study team leader and Contract of Service for legal review and advice. Relatedly, also requested BAC’s approval to use the alternative mode of payment for the procurement of such services.
    • Facilitated Pre Design Meeting on Financing Component between IFAD experts, Mr. Tafiq Al Zabri and Mr Alain Soulard with the following institutions: Philippine National Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Small Business Corporation, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, CARD-Pioneer Joint Venture, Securities and Exchange Commission, ACCESS and Jollibee Foundation
    • Coordination with the 7 consultants on the requirements of the project. The anchor firms identified by the 7 consultants were validated as indicated in the table below:
Wearables and Homestyles HoliCOW Store Gallery, Cebu City RD Aster Caberte
Rubber Marasigan Rubber Sheet Processing Plant, Kidapawan City RD Sitti Jain
Bamboo Cardona Multi Purpose Cooperative, Cardona, Rizal RD Judith Angeles
Coffee Hineleban Foundation, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon PD Juliet Lucas (representing RD Myrna)
Processed Fruits and Nuts Limonero Enterprise, Cagayan de Oro City RD Linda Boniao
Cacao Chokolate de San Isidro, Davao del Norte ARD Edwin Banquerigo
Coconut Oil/ Coir AG Pacific Nutraceutical Corporation, Padada, Davao del Sur ARD Marcelina Alcantara (as recommended by RD Belenda Ambi)
    • Conducted data gathering on the following clusters in areas as specified:
      • Engineered Bamboo in Cardona, Rizal
      • Virgin Coconut Oil in Davao del Sur
      • Hineleban Coffee (Arabica) in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
      • Processed Cacao in Davao del Norte
      • Wearables and Homestyles in Negros Occ and Cebu
      • Rubber in North Cotabato
      • Processed Fruits and Nuts in Misamis Oriental
    • Conduct of initial presentation of FS results among cluster coordinators, IFAD representative, BSMED, and SBCorp. The presentation elicited comments from cluster coordinators for revision and refinement of the studies/reports in preparation for the Design Mission
  • Provided technical support to the conduct of Design Mission:
    • Conduct of preparatory discussions with IFAD Manila office on the terms of reference and itinerary of the Design Mission
    • Conduct of kick off meeting and presentation of FS outputs to members of the Project Design Mission
    • Coordinated preparatory activities for the conduct of field visits to Regions X, XI, and XII by the Project Design Mission
    • Coordinated and participated in the conduct of Design Mission field visits to the following regions: Region XII/North Cotabato, Region XI, and Region X.
    • Coordinated and participated in focused discussions with stakeholders and prospective partner agencies:
      • Government and oversight agencies: BSP, NEDA, Cabinet Secretariat, DOF, DA, DAR, DOST, PCA, CDA, DSWD, SBCorp
      • Micro financial institutions
      • Non-government organizations
      • Business chambers and key corporations
    • Assisted the presentation of design mission initial results on 16 December 2016 at Holiday Inn Ortigas, Pasig City. Participants in the activity include BSP, NEDA, Cabinet Secretariat, DOF, DA, DAR, DOST, PCA, CDA, DSWD, SBCorp, key DTI bureaus, and attached agencies.  Comments by participants were incorporated in the revised Design Mission Aide Memoire.
    • Facilitated the drafting of feasibility studies by experts in the following sectors: coffee, cacao, engineered bamboo, processed fruits and nuts: calamansi, coconut: virgin coconut oil, rubber, and wearables and homestyles
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