The Regional Convergence Initiative Technical Working Group (RCI TWG) conducted a validation of the proposed convergence sites in the Ilocos region from March 14-15 and March 19-22, 2024.

Focused on 14 target sites, the validation aimed to assess the qualification of proposed municipalities as convergence sites based on specific selection criteria.

Meanwhile, the pilot convergence sites in Natividad and San Nicolas underwent an assessment to verify compliance with the Convergence Area Development Plan (CADP) and to assess the impact of implemented projects on recipients and their communities through written surveys.

The validation visits covered the municipalities of Santol, Bacnotan, and San Juan in La Union; Piddig, Dingras and Vintar in Ilocos Norte; Cabugao, Caoayan, Sinait, and Candon in Ilocos Sur, and San Manuel in Pangasinan.

Additionally, the municipalities of San Quintin, Balungao, and Mangatarem will also undergo validation for possible inclusion as convergence sites in the region.

During the validation, project recipients in the existing sites shared their experiences and expressed how the projects significantly benefited them. They expressed hope for continued project delivery and program implementation in their area.

Among the key agencies participating in this initiative are the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Agrarian Reform demonstrating collaborative efforts and resources aimed at promoting sustainable rural development and contributing to inclusive growth and poverty reduction.