VIGAN City, Ilocos Sur---The National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (NCI-SRD) recognized the efforts and support of the Departments of Agriculture-5 (DA); Agrarian Reform-5 (DAR); Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); and Interior and Local Government-5 (DILG) in the completion of the Convergence Area Development Plan (CADP) of Pili Watershed in Castilla, Sorsogon during the 2017 Summit on June 20, 2017 at the Vigan Convention Center, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
DA-5 Regional Executive Director Elena B. De los Santos received the plaque of recognition from DA Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Chair of NCI-SRD Alternate National Steering Committee Atty. Ranibai D. Dilangalen, DAR Secretary Rafael V. Mariano, DENR USec for Policy Planning and International Affairs Atty. Jonas R. Leones, and DILG Usec for Local Government Austere A. Panadero.
Aside from the Bicol Region, other regions that were recognized by the NCI which include the Ilocos Region (Region 1); Cagayan Valley (Region II); Region VII (Central Visayas); Region VIII (Eastern Visayas); Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula); and Region X (Northern Mindanao).
NCI also awarded the LGUs of Piddig, Ilocos Norte; Javier, Leyte; Siayan-Sindangan-Roxas in Zamboanga del Norte; Central Antique; and the province of Isabela for the successful implementation of local convergence strategies which successfully improved the lives of the residents.
Dilangalen stressed the impact of the convergence initiative. She cited the case of Siayan-Sindangan-Roxas which has a 20% decrease from their poverty incidence of 90% because of the support of DA, DAR, DENR, DILG, Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Education (DepEd).
She also cited the ease and convenience in mobility of people through transportation development; the 100% electrification of the municipality; and the increase in rice production of farmers in Javier, Leyte.
In the case of Piddig, Ilocos Norte, the convergence strategy of increasing the areas for organic coffee production jumpstarted the generation of 10,000 jobs and enticed a lot of business investors. At present, the LGU has more than1,600 hectares planted with coffee.
Dilangalen also posed a challenge to the Mindanaons present during the summit. Since Mindanao is the food basket of the Philippines--“we have to create and provide opportunities to alleviate poverty, hunger and unemployment; and empower the youth so that they will not be lured into twisted ideology as they are our future leaders.”
Dilangalen also requested the DA is the lead convenor of NCI to immediately convene all stakeholders. LGUs and leaders to convene especially the Provincial Convergence Initiative (PCI) and the municipal convergence initiative (MCI).
“I believe that rural areas, once developed, would address the societal ills of poverty and drugs and even the perennial road traffic problem in Manila,” she said.
This year’s theme is “Sustaining convergence towards rural development” and was participated in by more than 400 government and private representatives. (jaysonmgonzales)