By Lovella P. Guarin
PILI, Camarines Sur --- Six monitoring teams from the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) based in Quezon City and from Participatory Monitoring and Tracking Team (PMT) went around the 6 provinces of Bicol during the past two weeks to conduct Project Monitoring and Tracking & Geo-tagging of Farm-to-Market Roads and other DA-funded projects.
A total of 121 projects on rice, corn and high value crops production and processing facilities and organic agriculture projects implemented by DA in Bicol from 2017 to 2018 were tracked and evaluated.
More than 50% of these are Farm-to-Market Roads (FMRs). In Camarines Sur, 33 projects were monitored; 16 in Albay; 20 in Camarines Norte; 19 in Catanduanes; 13 in Masbate; and 20 in Sorsogon.
“We want to know the status of these projects, kung nagagamit ba ito, at kung may impact sa mga recipients. We have conducted several interviews with the farmer recipients in the field and with the LGU officials. To complete the story, we want to get the side of the implementing agency also,” Cestir Regalado of PCAF explaained the rationale of the exit conference.
The result of the monitoring was presented by PCAF to the DA 5 officials during the Exit Conference on October 26, 2018 at the DA 5 Conference Room.
DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Elena B. de los Santos was represented by Rodel P. Tornilla, Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension.
Together with RTD Tornila were engineers of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED), representatives from the DA Bicol Banner Program implementers, and RAFC V Coordinator Irene Bron.
Also present were a DPWH regional office representative, Camarines Sur provincial government representative, and officers of the Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (PAFC) of Camarines Norte and selected farmers.
Among the findings of the monitoring team: there are no concrete markings installed in both ends of some FMRs and some are not properly maintained. But most of the projects are fully utilized.
Some of the recommendations include: recipients should construct shed for the machineries received; recipients should be provided with a copy of the MOA; coordination between OPAG, OMA and PAFC should be observed; and the DA RFO should assess equipment/machineries not utilized and transfer to other beneficiaries that are in need.
RTD Tornilla said that DA Bicol will use the result of the project monitoring to improve the delivery of agricultural services in the region.
PCAF is an advisory body of the DA serving as consultative/feedback mechanism on the policies, plans and programs of the agency. Its goal is to achieve a more responsive agriculture and fishery sector and promote people empowerment through multi-stakeholder participatory process.
In the regional, provincial, city or municipal levels, there are a total of 1,728 Agriculture and Fishery Councils (AFCs) rendering voluntary services in promoting private sector participation in the development process, and therefore serving as “voices and bridges” to development. These are composed of 16 Regional AFCs (RAFCs); 82 Provincial AFCs (PAFCs); 19 independent component City AFCs (ICCAFCs) or Highliy Urbanized City Councils (HUCCs); and 1,611 Municipal/City AFCs (MAFCs/ CAFCs).