Strengthening collaboration and partnership among the member- agency and LGU partners of the Provincial-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES) in all provinces of the region, the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos through the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division conducted an initial engagement with the Local Government Units in the four provinces.

Conducted successively in the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, the meeting was also held in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur with the presence of Farmer Regional Executive Director (FRED) Benjamin Campañano, Jr. as the newly installed Director of DA-RFO I for the month of May at the Agricultural Training Institute-Training Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte and Ilcos Sur Provincial Capitol, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

In her discussion about the PAFES implementing guidelines, coverage and objectives, Ms. Doris Joy Garcia, Region I Planning Officer and lead convener of the meeting discussed the roles of the partner agencies and collaborators to encourage their active participation in carrying out the goals and objectives of PAFES.

Emphasizing the need for updates of the previously planned activities of the Ilocos Norte as well as the Ilocos Sur Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Systems, Ms. Garcia encouraged for the assessment of the targeted activities vis a vis the accomplishment of the PAFES in the two provinces.

Of the P1,000,000 fund given by the DA to INAFES which was intended for the conduct of rapid appraisal by the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) but was already reverted back to the DA-CO due to failure of accomplishing the activity, Dr. Marilou Lucas, MMSU representative during the meeting in Batac City sought assistance of the DA through Ms. Garcia on the possibility of proposing the same activity so that rapid appraisal shall be conducted which will serve as basis to determine and assess the resources and capacity of the partner LGUs prior to implement other planned activities of the INAFES.

Meanwhile, the Agricultural Training Institute represented by Ms. Shiela Corpuz likewise enjoined the PAFES in both provinces to fast tract the liquidation of the Php700,000 extension funds given to them so as to be able to get the additional funds allocated for the current year amounting to Php 2.175 million.

In his message to the participants, F-RED Campañano elaborated more his observations on how the PAFES in Ilocos Norte works as he emphasized more on the needs for a stronger collaboration and improved networking to realize the goals and objectives of the PAFES.

He likewise lauded the PAFES-Ilocos Sur for accomplishing various capability enhancement trainings and seminars out of the Php700,000 fund provided by the ATI from the presentation made by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist represented by Engr. Reginald Yadao as compared to the other PAFES in the region.

With the DA-RFO I, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the ATI as the major collaborators of this agri-fishery implementation strategy, the LGUs of the province including the municipalities and cities as well as the private sector representatives are encouraged to actively support the extension activities, programs and projects of PAFES especially on technology transfer with the province as the center for operations of the agriculture and fishery programs for the welfare not only for the farmers and fisherfolks but to the agricultural extension workers as well.