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MIMAROPA agri office readies local government for extension systems

Author: DA Communications Group | 18 June 2021

The Department of Agriculture (DA) MIMAROPA Regional Field Office (RFO) gears up the local government units (LGUs) in the region for the devolution of various services for the agriculture sector following the full execution of the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, set in 2022 through the Provincial-Led Agriculture and Fishery Extension Systems (PAFES).

On June 17, 2021, Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of PAFES with the Province of Marinduque led by Governor Presbitero Velasco, Jr.

“Our hearts are full especially for this momentous event because agriculture is the main livelihood of our kababayan. Your visit sparks hope. We welcome this agreement as we geared toward the greater things that will happen in agriculture. Rest assured that the provincial government is fully supportive to all the projects of the DA,” Governor Velasco said.

DA developed the PAFES to share with the LGUs the key strategies in carrying out various agri-fishery programs and extension services under the twin goals of “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”

After the PAFES orientation held in March, the LGUs prepared their respective Commodity Investment Plans (CIP) with the assistance of the DA-MIMAROPA.

The MOA aims at strengthening the collaboration of DA, LGUs, private sector, academe, and other relevant sectors that will contribute to agriculture and fisheries development.

Partners who joined in the MOA signing include Marinduque State College President Dr. Diosdado Zulueta, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Network (RAFEN) Chairman Andrew Barrientos; League of Mayors of the Philippines (LMP-MARINDUQUE) President Lorna Velasco, and League of Municipal and City Agriculturist of the Philippines (LeMMCAP) President Ederlinda Jasmin.

National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Regional Manager William Ragodon, Provincial  Agri-Fishery Council (PAFC) Antonino Manuba, Marinduque Irrigators Federation (MIF) Chairman Amalia Peralta, Small Water Impounding System Association (SWISA) President Samuel Rondera, Coalition of Agriculture and Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP) President Benigno Peczon, and AGREA Philippines CEO Cherrie Atilano also joined the event.

Secretary Dar explained that the idea of PAFES was instituted upon his assumption in DA in 2019, stressing that ensuring food security for the country is a shared responsibility of the national and the local governments.

“LGU will be in sync with the national government and will be part of the real solution to make it possible to attain food security,” Secretary Dar explained.

During the event, the DA-RFO also awarded about P39-million-worth of interventions to at least 45 farmers’ cooperatives and associations in the six municipalities of Marinduque. The interventions include farm machinery and equipment such as rice threshers, hand tractors, and grass cutters, among others totaling P2.9 million. Sacks of certified rice seeds amounting to P4.754 million from the DA Rice Program, certified rice seeds from the Rehab Program amounting to P304,000, and assorted vegetable seeds worth P449,820 were also distributed.

In addition, 1,180 corn farmers, fishers, and vegetable growers received loan assistance amounting to about P29.5 million from the Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE-Aid) Program, while thE Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation distributed indemnity checks worth P820,763 to 117 to typhoon-affected farmers.

The Bureau Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in MIMAROPA, on the other hand, provided interventions amounting to P4.45 million. These include a refrigerated van (P2.5 million), fry Vannamei shrimp (P400,000), tilapia fry (P300,000), hook and line (P157,500), seaweeds seedlings (P1M), and farm implements for seaweeds (P100,000).

On top of all the interventions, the agri chief shared that the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) will allocate P10 million to support the research and development activities of the Marinduque State College for the improvement of the agriculture sector.

Joel Tirey of the Bonliw Farmers Association thanked the DA on behalf of all the recipients.

“Makakaasa po ang Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka na ano man po ang aming natanggap na interbensiyon, ito po ay gagamitin namin ng maayos upang makamit ang Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita. Maraming salamat po at mabuhay po ang magsasaka ng Marinduque at mabuhay ang Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka,” he said. ### (Denice Joelle A. Benosa, DA-MIMAROPA RAFIS)

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