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Albay pioneers PAFES in Bicol Region

Author: DA Communications Group | 20 October 2021

The Albay provincial local government unit (LGU) accepted the challenge of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to pilot the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES) in the Bicol Region.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, and DA-Bicol Regional Field Office Director Rodel Tornilla concretized their partnership for the PAFES implementation through the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing held in Legazpi City on October 19, 2021.

“One of the outstanding provinces that have really shown leadership in agricultural extension delivery system is the Province of Albay under the governorship of Al Francis Bichara,” Secretary Dar said.

He also congratulated the Albay LGU for being a model and showcasing what must be done in every province for the agriculture sector.

Secretary Dar recognized the important role of the Albay Farmers Bounty Village (AFB Ville) with 25 facilities located in Camalig for enhancing the province’s priority commodities and serving as the region’s center in agro-fishery extension, research, development.

“You must lead. In terms of food security, DA does the steering role, while the rowing role must be done by the local government units. The devolution must really function this time around and please don’t forget to ensure food security at your level,” the agri chief said on the role of LGUs.

After piloting PAFES in one province per region this year, he added that by 2022, PAFES should be properly implemented in all provinces in line with the Devolution Act strengthened by the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling.

During the PAFES MOA signing and launching, the agri chief also highlighted the OneDA Reform Agenda to Transform Philippine Agriculture and the importance of strong partnerships among different stakeholders including the farmers’ groups, the academe, LGUs, and the private sector.

Other stakeholders present during the event were Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, 3rd District Representative Fernando Cabredo, AKO Bicol Partylist Representative Alfredo Garbin, Jr., and Bicol University President Arnulfo Mascariñas. They were also joined by Albay Business Club President Fiona Mae Corral-Bobis, Provincial Agriculture and Fishery Council Chairperson Rene Delos Reyes, and Albay Agriculture Cooperative Chairperson Jose San Jose.

Following the PAFES MOA signing, Secretary Dar, Director Tornilla, and Governor Bichara also led the awarding of production inputs, farm equipment, and other agricultural interventions for Albay farmers’ groups, irrigators associations, cluster associations, and municipal LGUs.

Amounting to P38 million, the interventions from the banner programs of the DA Bicol Regional Field Office include hauling truck, multi-commodity drying pavement, corn sheller, tractors, and rice combine harvesters.

The officials also inaugurated the AFB Ville Negosyo Auditorium, Cold Storage, Pili Processing Center, Trading Post, and Dairy Project and visited the Ligao City School with Machinery Learning Site at the AFB Ville Farm School Extension-Albay Rice Station. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)


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