Department of Agriculture RFU 5
San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur
June 5, 2013


European Commission visits DIPECHO projects in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY - - An evaluation team from the European Commission - Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) Regional Support Office for East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, is in Bicol to evaluate the DIPECHO project.

DIPECHO or Enhancing Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Agriculture in Cambodia and in the Philippines (Bicol and Caraga) OSRO/RAS/201/EC is being implemented by the DA RFU 5 and the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) of the UN in Albay, Sorsogon and Catanduanes provinces. The project which was funded by the European Commission aimed to enhance livelihood's resilience of small scale farmers and fisherfolks in disaster -prone areas through the institutionalization of DRR in agriculture. The DA and FAO's partners in this project are PAGASA, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Bicol University (BU) and the LGUs.

The European team was headed by Ms. Amelie Yan-Gouiffes, DRR Coordinator of ECHO. She was impressed by the projects achievements, but urged the group to bring the information generated to as many farmers as possible at the farm level, not only in the project areas, so that climate information products, good practice options and proactive disaster risk reduction service delivery will be institutionalized in the barangays even after the project's culmination in December 2013.

DA RFU 5 Regional Executive Director Abelardo R. Bragas presented the accomplishments of the DIPECHO project since its inception in September 2012. Salient accomplishments include conduct of trainings on disaster risk reduction, development of barangay and municipal DRR plan and regional plan of action for DRR in agriculture; dissemination of Good Practice Options for replication in selected barangays; distribution of rice seeds; regular and timely provision of farm weather bulletins and climate outlook advisories to farmers; and training on interpretation and use of climate advisories information.

Also present during the project briefing orientation held at the Oriental Hotel in Legazpi City on June 4 were Arlyn Aquino, ECHO Phils. Programme Officer; German national Olaf Neussner, Chief Adviser on DRM -GIZ project, and Gene Castro, FAO National Project Coordinator. Team leaders of the partner agencies were also present: Dr. Landrico Dalida, Jr., Regional Director of PAG-ASA region 5; Dr. Luis Amano, BU team leader; Dr. Cely Binoya, CBSUA team leader; Dr. Salvadora Gavino and Lorenzo Alvina of DA RFU 5 team.

The European evaluation team will be staying for the whole week to visit various DIPECHO project sites and talk with project beneficiaries and co-operators. (Lovella P. Guarin)

Oriental Hotel, LEGAZPI CITY - The DIPECHO project implementation team from the DA RFU 5, PAGASA, CBSUA, and BU, briefed the European evaluators headed by Amelie Yan- Gouiffes (inset), DRR Coordinator of the European Commission, on the DIPECHO project updates, in a round-table discussion held June 4 in this city. DA 5 OIC Regional Executive Director Abelardo Bragas (inset right), presented the DIPECHO updates.