Innovation, collaboration for cara-industry in South and Central Mindanao take spotlight in DA-PCC at USM 29th anniversary

The 29th anniversary celebration of the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at the University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC at USM) illuminates the carabao industry’s innovation and collaboration in Region XI, Region XII, and some areas of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Under the theme “Pagbabago Tungo sa Maginhawa, Matatag, at Panatag na Pagkakalabawan,” the center reflects on changes in its organization and its ways forward.

The transition in leadership is particularly noteworthy as Center Director Geoffray R. Atok takes the reins from the retiring Benjamin John Basilio, who dedicated an impressive 23 years to leading the DA-PCC at USM. Now passing the torch to Director Atok, Basilio leaves a legacy of dedication and tireless efforts in advancing the carabao industry in the region.

Director Atok envisions an innovative approach for attaining Value-creation for Improved Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability (VIPPS) of the center. The collective goal is to align with the AmBisyon Natin 2040 aspirations for carapreneurs, emphasizing that they should be strongly rooted (Matatag), comfortable (Maginhawa), and secure (Panatag).

“We shall deliver vital services and work efficiently via our collaborations and partnerships with farmers, LGUs, cooperatives, government line agencies, and other academic institutions, especially the University of Southern Mindanao, the home of PCC in this part of the region,” Director Atok said.

Moreover, Director Atok emphasized visible ethical competence, inclusivity, celebration of diversity, and prompt, positive addressing of issues and concerns.

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Cotabato under the leadership of Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, duly represented by Board Member Jonathan Tabara, highlighted the efforts of the management in attaining a sustainable carabao industry in the province.

“May ordinansa na naipasa ang probinsya patungkol sa pagbabawal sa benta ng productive carabaos mula sa probinsya palabas dito. Dagdag pa rito, sa pamamagitan ng partnership sa DA-PCC, may allocation na rin ang Cotabato province ng 20 gatasang kalabaw para sa magsasakang Cotabateño. Let us educate our farmers in order for them to embrace the dairy industry”, Tabara expressed.

In addition, USM President Francisco Gil N. Garcia delivered his keynote message. In his speech, he said that adopting a positive mindset would lead to a positive change in an organization.

“Be grateful to the past and hopeful for a better future… Ang pagbabago ay isang natural na bahagi ng buhay at ito ay nagbibigay daan din sa pagunlad ng ating sarili at lipunan. Ang kakayahang tanggapin ang pagbabago ay isang mahalagang aspeto ng paunlad,” President Garcia added.

Highlights of the celebration include the turnover of key responsibilities from the previous center chief to the new center director, the turnover of carabao value-chain equipment, the recognition of stakeholders, the acknowledgement of newly trained AI technicians, and commendation for outstanding carapreneurs.

This transition in leadership marks a pivotal moment in DA-PCC at USM’s history, showcasing its dedication to the Carabao Development Program in the region.