Aware of their crucial role in the attainment of the goals of the Department of Agriculture (DA), 37 public information officers of the DA bureaus, attached agencies and corporations, and foreign-assisted projects convened in a consultative meeting last November 15-17.
The second semester meeting was held at the national headquarters of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
Director Noel Reyes of the Agriculture and Fisheries Information Service (DA-AFIS), in his message, emphasized to the PIOs “important role” in promoting the DA’s agenda on attaining food sufficiency.
“With our pooled and harmonized efforts in promoting the programs of our department, particularly on the food sufficiency program, Secretary Proceso Alcala hopes to attain this goal despite the odds that we are facing due to the calamities that struck our country,” Dir. Reyes said.
In a special message sent by the Secretary, he said the consultative assembly should be a way to “harmonize the efforts of the DA family PIOs in the implementation of their respective communication-information plan and advocacy campaign activities with the Department’s major programs, goals and thrusts.”
Program directorates and their representatives were also invited to the meeting to present updates on DA’s program on rice, corn, high-value crops development, livestock, and fisheries. Agencies in the science city community also presented their programs and current projects to the meeting. PCC executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz presented the agency’s programs and activities. PhilRice’s presentation was made by its deputy director for development Dr. Eduardo Quilang, while that of PhilMech was done by chief science research specialist Dr. Rodolfo Estigoy.
In his presentation of the PCC program, Dr. Cruz emphasized that PCC only uses the carabao as a medium in implementing a smallholder farmer-focused social program with the end goal of establishing village-based carabao enterprises for increased income and nutrition in the countryside.
During the opening ceremonies, Dr. Cruz gave his warm welcome to the PIOs saying that he hoped for the participants a pleasant learning experience at PCC. He thanked Director Reyes for selecting PCC as the venue for this year’s meeting of the PIOs.
“We hope that your stay here, though very brief, will be a learning experience for you about the programs of PCC and its neighboring R&D agencies,” Dr. Cruz said.
Toward the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the next assembly would be slated in the first quarter of 2012 to be conducted in a yet to be selected place in the Visayas.