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Floods damage P463-M crops; DA provides seeds, other farm inputs
Provide self-less service.Stay ‘clean’ and govern well tocleanse the DA’s image.Improve the lives of small farm-ers, fishers, and provide a betterfuture for their children.These are some of the initialmarching orders of AgricultureSecretary Proceso J. Alcala toall DA regional, bureau and ser-vice directors, and heads of at-tached agencies and corpora-tions, and foreign-assistedprojects, during the DA family’sfirst national ‘command confer-ence’ or management committee(ManCom) executive meeting,January 6, 2011, at the DA-Bu-reau of Soils and Water Manage-ment (BSWM) convention hall.He said the DA family officialsand staff have a lot to do in thearea of good governance, and pro-vision of quick and efficient ser-vice to clienteles, and qualityfarm inputs, equipment and infra-structure to farmers’ and fishers’groups and local governments.During the meeting, he alsopresented the “Agri-Pinoy” stra-tegic framework that will set thedirection of all exisitng and newDA programs.He said Agri-Pinoy has fourguiding principles, namely: foodsecurity and self-sufficiency; sus-tainable agriculture and fishery;natural resource management;and local development.These guiding principles shouldserve as the barometer or ‘mea-suring stick’ of current and andnew DA initiatives and programs.He urged concerned nationalcoordinators of major commod-ity programs (rice, corn, highvalue crops, fishery and live-stock) to finalize their respectivecommodity roadmap, taking intoaccount the four guiding prin-ciples of Agri-Pinoy.He told all DA regional execu-tive directors (REDs) and otherDA family officials to regularly in-form their respective provincial,city and municipal executives ofany DA project or activity--togather their support and coopera-tion, more particularly so theycould provide needed support andcounterpart funds to implementmore farm and fishery projects aspossible.He asked the DA-REDs to leadthe regular meetings of the Re-gional ManCom (RMC), composed of respective head of DAfamily agencies in the region--in-cluding the regional or districtmanager of the Land Bank of thePhilippines (as the DA Secretaryserves as a member of the LBPBoard of Directors)--to discussmajor agricultural and fishery con-cerns and issues.One such critical RMC meet-ing, Sec. Alcala said, should beheld weeks before the start of thecropping season to discuss theinterventions and assistance thatthe DA should provide farmers.He asked the REDs to helpstrengthen the seed industry intheir respective area, particularlythe seed growers’ associations.He told them to conduct an in-ventory of seed banks or storagewarehouses, if any.Under his watch, he said theDA should build at least one seedbank per province to ensure aready supply in times of calami-ties.He said planting quality seedsis the ‘bedrock of agriculture,’ fol-lowed by irrigation and sustain-able farming technologies andpractices.He rallied all DA officials to con-tribute their share in attainingAquino government’s rice self-suf-ficiency goal by 2013.He asked the National Agricul-tural and Fisheries Council(NAFC) to coordinate with otheragencies so it could streamlineand refine its proposed AKBaylivelihood program intended tobenefit poor and marginal farm-ing and fishing communities.
Sec. Alcala (3rd from right) presides over the DA family’s first na- tional ManCom executive meeting, January 6, 2011, at the BSWM convention hall. With him (from left) are USec. Antonio Fleta, NFA Adm. Angelito Banayo, USec. Joel Rudinas, STAG member Ed delaTorre, and USec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
For its first organizationmeeting, the CongressionalOversight Committee on Agri-culture and Fisheries Modern-ization (COCAFM)--chaired bySenator Francisco Pangilinanand co-chaired by Rep. MarkLlandro Mendoza--discussedrespective updates on the threemajor laws that impact on thecountry’s agriculture and fish-ery sector.The committee members,welcomed by Agriculture Sec-retary Proceso J. Alcala, werebriefed on the implementationof the Agriculture and Fisher-ies Modernization Act (AFMA)by DA Undersecretary (USec)Segfredo Serrano, followed byUSec Antonio Fleta on the Ag-ricultural Competitiveness En-hancement Fund (ACEF), andDir. Gilberto Layese of the Bu-reau of Agriculture and Fisher-ies Product Standards on Or-ganic Agriculture Act. Alsopresent was DA USecBernadette Romulo Puyat.
COCAFM tackles updateson AFMA, ACEF, Organic Act
The meeting commencedwith Sec. Alcala welcomingSenator Pangilinan, Rep.Mendoza, and other COCAFMmembers.Thereafter, COCAFM OIC-ex-ecutive director JocelynBadiola gave an overview of thecommittee’s tasks, amongthem to oversee and monitorthe implementation of the Agri-culture and Fisheries Modern-ization Act (AFMA), and otheragri-related laws, as well asprovide legislative support tothe respective committee onagriculture at the Senate andHouse of Representatives.Senator Pangilinan said thatunder his chairmanship theCOCAFM will conduct regularconsultations and dialogueswith farmers, fishers and otherindustry stakeholders to gathertheir pulse and feedback onhow government and the legis-lature can sustain the develop-ment, modernization and com-
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Continuous rains due to a lin-gering cold front early this monthflooded farmlands and fishpondsin several regions of the coun-try, exacting an estimated lossof P463-million worth of variouscrops, livestock and fish stocks.Field reports submitted to theDepartment of Agriculture CentralAction Center (DACAC) showthat the floods submerged some47,480 hectares of crop lands ineight regions (4-B, 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 11, and 13), damaging a totalof 2,795 tons of rice, corn, andhigh value crops.Minimal damage was reportedin the fisheries and and livestocksub-sectors, with damages atP2.9M and a little over P0.5M,respectively.To enable affected farmers toreplant again, the DA has ex-tended assistance to seven re-gions (Bicol, Western Visayas,Eastern Visayas, ZamboangaPeninsula, Northern Mindanao,Davao, and CARAGA), wherefarmlands where flooded due tocontinuous rains early thismonth.Sec. Alcala personally distrib-uted said assistance when he vis-ited St. Bernard, in SouthernLeyte, along with PresidentAquino, and in other provinces.
(Pls read related stories on pp 10-11.)
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