PRDP’s contributions in Sorsogon increase with interagency convergence
SORSOGON CITY – Outcomes of the Philippine Rural Development Project’s (PRDP) commodity investment plans in Sorsogon continue to increase four months after the signing of the Interagency Convergence Memorandum of Understanding.
During a Convergence Assessment and Coordination Meeting for Sorsogon held on March 8, 2018, representatives from national government agencies and private sector including the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the Sorsogon Pili Producers’ Cooperative (SPPC) provided updates about their collaborative efforts to support the province in its implementation of the Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIPs) for pili and seaweeds.
Ronaldo Coprada, Report Officer of the DA-Bicol Regional High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) discussed the plans and targets for 2018 in support to pili production. Among HVCDP’s commitments are 150,000 pieces of pili planting materials to be planted in 1,500 hectares, 23 Package of Technology (POT), four general technology demonstrations, a nursery, a foundation scion grove, and a pili nut/pili oil processing facility. The HVCDP will also assist in product development by providing processing equipment and machineries, community-based processing or postharvest facilities, and research development.
According to Emmanuel Orogo of ATI-Bicol, the agency has already conducted a training on pili nursery establishment and asexual propagation in September 2017. In 2018, ATI-Bicol targets to have another training on pili production with Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Certification with starter inputs for 30 farmers.
Karl Angelo Rodriguez and John Gomeceria of PCIC-Bicol mentioned that in 2017, 337 fisherfolk were insured while 72 seaweed farmers from Barcelona, Casiguran, Castilla, Gubat, and Prieto Diaz were able to claim insurance worth P219,283. The PCIC further plans to provide insurance coverage worth P16.5 million for 1500 seaweed farmers in 2018 and 2019.
Danilo Mendizabal, Cooperative Development Specialist from CDA enumerated the cooperatives engaged in pili and seaweeds production and processing in Sorsogon. He also shared some of the organizations’ best practices and current activities.
Meanwhile, Merla Caguia of DTI-Sorsogon said that under the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) development program, DTI spearheads capacity building activities in which the agency provides technical assistance, conducts entrepreneurial and managerial training, skills training on appropriate technology, product development, packaging and labelling as well as branding. DTI also assists in undertaking compliance business regulatory requirements, HALAL certification, and certificate of product registration. Under market assistance, DTI will facilitate the pili processors’ participation to local, domestic, and foreign trade fairs including the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) on May 25-27 in Pasay City, the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) on April 4-7 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Go Lokal! stores. Moreover, DTI commits to provide finance access and shared service facility projects. Lorna Jaranilla of DENR added that the agency can provide technical assistance in formulating the Coastal Resource Management (CRM) plan and in strengthening the marine protected area (MPA) management.
The Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit-Sorsogon is yet to consolidate the updates from other funding agencies that signed the MOU including Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Sorsogon State College (SSC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA).
To institutionalize the use of PCIPs as platform for regional and provincial convergence, funding agencies will conduct periodic meeting or assessment with partner agencies and designate an alternate representative of the agency head. The Provincial Planning and Development Officer (PPDO) will be designated as the official secretariat of the convergence team and will also take charge of program and project review and assessment. ### (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP Bicol RPCO InfoACE Unit)