VIGAN City, Ilocos Sur---“The success of convergence lies in the hands of the Regional Convergence Initiative (RCI).”

 This was message by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Usec for Farm Tourism, Faith-based Tourism, and Eco-Tourism Dr. Vince Q. Tejada during the  2017 Mid-Year Assessment and Operational Planning from June 21-22 at one of the hotels to assess the 2016 to first semester of 2017 accomplishments, report on pipeline activities; and discuss plans and budget for FY 2018-2019.

The RCI is composed of representatives from the regional offices of the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Agrarian Reform (DAR), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Tourism (DOT) starting this year.

 

During the sharing of accomplishments and impact of the Local Convergence Agro-Enterprise Clusters (LCAEC) of Region V (Bicol Region); Cagayan Valley (Region II); Region IV-A (Calabarzon); Region VI (Western Visayas); Region VIII  (Eastern Visayas); and Region X (Northern Mindanao), support from the DA, DAR, DENR, DILG and other agencies created major impacts in terms of income; reduction of poverty incidence especially in the rural areas; enhanced livelihood and jobs, and provided easy access and mobility to the people and their products.

The support include farm inputs, new technologies, farm mechanization, marketing assistance, establishment of trading centers, fish ports, farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigation, and extension support services), land tenure improvement, capacity development, Agri Credit, Farm mechanization, seedling production and plantation establishments, reforestation, Handog Titulo Program, Salintubig Program, demo farm, housing/resettlement, Pantawid Pamilya, Dairy production, Crop Insurance Coverage, and trainings on product packaging and marketing.

However, despite these accomplishments, “if you ask an ordinary person, governors or mayors, they are not aware of the regional convergence initiative,” said DENR-Central Office Human Resource Development Service Rolando R. Castro said in his message.

LCAEC is a strategy of the DA-DAR-DENR National Convergence Initiative (NCI) under a ridge-to-reef approach that identifies the production zones and the needed support services such as production inputs, access to credit, processing/post-harvest facilities and logistics/marketing support systems. It is also a masterplanned rural infrastructure and common service facilities, production planning, capacity development, & market matching.

The two-day activity was attended by more than 200 government officials and representatives all over the country. (jaysonmgonzales)