The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) conducted its 7th Annual Country Programme Review from 21 to 23 January 2014 at the Bohol Plaza Resort and Restaurant, Dauis, Bohol.

This was hosted by the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Forest Management Bureau (DENR-FMB). It was attended by representatives from the three (3) ongoing IFAD loan-funded projects (DA-CHARMP2, DA-RaFPEP, and DENR-INREMP); two (2) upcoming projects (DAR-CONVERGE and DA/BFAR-FishCORAL); and six (6) IFAD-funded regional grants operating in the country (IRRI-CURE, CIP-FOODSTART, ICRAF-Climate SMART, MTCP2, ATIKHA, and HARP).

      This year's theme, "Leveraging and Scaling Up for Strategic Rural Transformation", focused on:

  • assessing the PH Country Programme;
  • updating of the PDP implementation;
  • identifying the projects' and IFAD country programme's comparative advantages; and
  • detecting challenges, gaps and practical solutions in project and country programme implementation.

      On the first day, the highlight was the Country Programme Report, PH-COSOP Review Report, and PDP Update by Mr. Yolando Arban, IFAD Country Programme Officer (Philippines), and Mr. Noriel Sicad, IFAD consultant. Break-out sessions followed to discuss key points namely: i) comparative advantages of the IFAD PH Portfolio and ii) current and emerging challenges.

Participants of the 7th Annual Country Programme Review

      The break-out sessions on the second day focused on the project performance and contribution to PH-COSOP, PDP, operational issues and concerns, and practical responses. This day was also devoted to action planning by project and presentation of project action plans indicating the respective collaboration of IFAD projects (loan and grant).

      On the third day, the participants were invited to interact with the people of the municipality of Pilar, Bohol, because this would be part of INREMP's proposed rural infrastructure development subproject. After this interaction, the participants took a quick tour of the eco-tourism destinations in Bohol, such as, the Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Conservatory, man-made forest, and river cruise.

      On the last day, the participants reported on: the achievements of the PH Country Programme in 2014, the result of the 2014 PH-COSOP review, and the performance of both loan and grant projects in the country; the assessment of how the Country Programme and the projects contributed to the achievements of the strategic objectives of the PH-COSOP and to the sectoral outcomes of the PDP; the identified comparative advantages of the IFAD Country Programme and the projects in leveraging and scaling up; the identified challenges, gaps, and practical solutions in implementing the country programme activities and projects; and prepared an action plan for both the country programme and projects for implementation in 2015.