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TITLE Orientation Briefing on the National Convergence Initiative and Operations Manual for Convergence Area Development Plan held in Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC), Brgy. Maraouy, Lipa City. DATE March 13-14, 2013. PARTICIPANTS Attended by 50 Participants from National Government Agencies, LRIs and LGUs. HIGHLIGHTS The activity was headed by the Department of Agriculture (DA). It was learned that the NCI is a multi-sectoral and integrated planning approach adopted by the DA, DAR, and DENR the goal of which is to operationalize a common framework for sustainable rural development and more efficient use of resources. Bansud and Bongabong, two of the identified convergence sites in Oriental Mindoro presented their 2013 plan of Operations and other activities. As part of the program, DENR presented their six priority areas which are (1) national Greening Program (2) Balik Probinsya Program (3) Anti Illegal Logging Campaign (4) Cadastral Survey and (5) Geo-Hazard. It is learned that the Worlds forest cover is 31%, while the Philippines forest cover is 24%, increasing the need to support and continue the National Greening Program. The provincial government of Oriental Mindoro also presented their Unified Tree of Life Program (UTOL), a strategic intervention for effective coordination and increase the forest cover of Oriental Mindoro by

planting initially 12, 012, 012 forest trees, fruit bearing trees and mangroves in the province from ridge to reef within 3 years; A Joint Special Order (JSO) by the member agencies was drafted containing the composition of the National, Regional and Provincial Convergence Initiative Technical Working Group and Regional Convergence Initiative Secretariat. The next critical steps was identified and presented to the body.

ISSUES AND CONCERNS There are five (5) components of the National Convergence Initiative namely (1) Policy and Advocacy, (2) Knowledge Management, (3) Capacity Development, (4) Climate Change Adaptation, and (5) Agro Enterprise Cluster and Agri Business Development. The DILG has been included in the Regional and Provincial Convergence Initiative Technical Working Group, as Chairman of the Policy and Advocacy Component Working Group represented by Dr. Rogelio E. Castilla, LGCDD Chief. That as provided for in the DA-DAR-DENR JMC No. 1 series of 2012, the DILGs major role in the RCI -CWG as chairman of the Policy and Advocacy CWG is to address the issues and problems of conflicting, overlapping, and unclear policies related to land administration, regulatory frameworks, operational strategies, and jurisdictional boundaries. The component is envisioned to address these concerns by recommending and advocating policy reform and harmonization. The component shall undertake the review and audit of conflicting and overlapping laws, policies and programs that are under the ambit of three lead agencies and offices. The end game is to resolve and harmonize the conflicting and overlapping policies. Mr. Von Ivan F. Fadri was assigned member of the Regional Convergence Initiative Technical Working Group Secretariat. Mr. Alvaro F. Fabon was also assigned as member of the Agro-Enterprise cluster and Agribusiness Development Component Working Group (CWG) chaired by DA.

Knowledge Management CWG was chaired by the Academe, Capacity Development CWG by DAR, and Climate Change Adaptation CWG by DENR.

RECOMMENDATIONS For the National Convergence Initiative to be successful, strong partnership must be forged between the concerned agencies especially between DA, DAR, DENR, and DILG. Lines of communication must be always open to ensure the success of the convergence.

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