SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Following Secretary William Dar’s marching orders to grow the agriculture sector at a much faster rate and to wipe out corruption in all transactions, all DA operating units in the country are directed to create the Agriculture Dialogue and Information Network Groups (ADING).

Thus, the DA RFO 5, has staged a virtual Orientation on ADING, Election of responsible persons and Planning Workshop on ADING which was attended by 26 participants composed of heads of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Farmers’ Associations (FAs) on February 9-10, 2021. Also present were DA 5 officials, the resident Auditor, who was one of the resource persons, and members of the Bids and Awards Committee.

DA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rodolfo V. Vicerra, who was virtually present during the orientation, commended the initiative of the DA RFO 5 as the first DA regional office in the country to establish an ADING Integrity Circle.

“We seek to establish an active partnership with our clients and civil society organizations towards integrity building mechanisms and integrity circles,” USEC Vicerra added.

Jimmy Anadilla, Graft Prevention and Control Officer IV and national ADING coordinator from the Office of Usec for Policy and Planning discussed the ADING Program.

Anadilla said that ADING is a national integrity management program of DA aimed to improve and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the DA’s various actions and programs; enhance the quality and timeliness of delivery; prevent and avoid leakages and wastage in the use of the agencies’ resources; institutionalize the value of honesty and principles of integrity; strengthen the relevance of DA programs, actions and strategies to the needs of the producers, consumers, economy and society at large.

On the same day, the election for the ADING Integrity Circle (IC) was held. Elected as ADING Chairperson for Bicol was Bernadette delos Santos, proprietor of Bidibidi enterprises and elected as ADING focal person was Rebecca Purisima, Agta Tabangnon chieftain of Tigaon, Camarines Sur. They were elected from among the nine (9) CSO leaders, representatives and heads of farmers’ associations.

The ADING integrity circle (IC) for Bicol will organize/coordinate integrity circles; observe the DA procurement process; validate DA programs and projects; conduct community development dialogues; undertake participatory mechanisms including monitoring of agri-commodities and prices. ADING IC shall be independent consultative bodies directly linked to the Office of the Secretary thru the ADING Program Management Committee.

DA Bicol RTD for Operations Luz R. Marcelino in her welcome remarks, expressed her appreciation of the support of the CSOs and volunteer leaders present.

Aloha Gigi I. Banaria, DA-ADING coordinator for Bicol said that the ADING orientation and Planning Workshop was the 4th activity on ADING as they have already participated in three national initiatives in 2020. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5 / photo credit: Hermito Privaldos)