Helping the convergence site proponents to prepare the comprehensive agricultural development plan (CADP) as a pre-requisite in endorsing convergence area to the National Convergence Initiative-Sustainable Rural Development Initiative (NCI-SRDI) Technical Working Group (TWG), the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos through the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) conducted a planning workshop on mainstreaming Philippine Rural Development Program tools held at the Ynad’s Resort in San Fernando City, La Union.

A three-day activity that aims to mainstream the science-based tools being used by the PRDP in the formulation of projects for funding, the planning workshop likewise promoted cluster coordination and collaboration among the identified convergence sites especially in the allocation of resources from the converging agencies including its expanded member-agencies.

Of the 16 proposed convergence sites in the region, present during the planning workshop are the representatives of the three sites in Ilocos Norte (Piddig, Vintar and Dingras), four sites in Ilocos Sur (Sinait, Cabugao, Caoayan and Candon City, three sites in La Union (Santol, Bacnotan and San Juan) and 5 sites in Pangasinan (Balungao, Mangatarem, San Manuel, Natividad and San Nicolas).

In the opening remarks and briefing of the activity by PMED Chief Ms. Doris Joy Garcia, she explained the importance of mainstreaming the PRDP tools to facilitate the CADP preparation which is set for submission in May (1st batch), June (2nd batch), and July (3rd batch), respectively.

Based on records of the RCI, there were only two approved convergence sites in the region to date from among the 29 sites of convergence at the national level.

“So, there is a need to strengthen our efforts so we may be able to increase the number of this convergence sites,” Ms. Garcia said.

To provide insights on how PRDP was implemented in the region, focal persons for the two major PRDP components (I-Plan, and I-Reap) discussed in detail how they plan and assess the viability of the proposed projects before they can be endorsed for funding that provided the RCI site proponents an idea on how they will be able to prepare their CADPs.

In the discussion of rationale of the activity and briefing about the NCI-SRD and Revised CADP Manual of Operations, Ms. Marineh Ambrocio NCI-SRD National Secretariat, together with Mr. Justine Devela, Deputy Head, National Secretariat of the NCI-SRDI, underscored the relevance of the activity as it provides complementation of efforts and resources among the agency convergence while developing a standardized process of implementation of activities and initiatives taking into consideration some relevant aspects in the approval of the convergence area.

As a major output of the activity, participants were grouped per province for a workshop where they were able to draft their CADPs applying the knowledge and information that the speakers imparted during their discussion upon the guidance and recommendations of the expanded convergence agency representatives.

A separate workshop and writeshop sessions shall also be scheduled by the RCI to finalize the CADPs of the various proposed convergence sites prior to the submission of the same to the NCI-SRD.