SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR –Over 250 farmers, farmer leaders and agricultural extension workers attended the first Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall Meeting held at the DA Bicol on May 14, 2024.

In attendance were Bernadette delos Santos, Farmer Regional Executive Director for the month of May; Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, OIC Regional Technical Director for Operations; and Rebecca S. Purisima, Farmer Regional Technical Director for Operations.

The regional coordinators of the four banner programs under the Field Operations Division presented the respective interventions of each program for CY 2024. Earl Vincent Vegas, OIC – Chief of the Field Operations Division and Rice Program focal person discussed the plans and interventions of the Rice Program for the wet season cropping; Engr. Amabel Bombase, Regional Corn Program Focal Person presented for the corn and cassava program; Maricris Reforba, Assistant Regional Coordinator of the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) discussed the program’s intervention to HVC growers. Meanwhile, Dr. Marissa Guillermo, Livestock Program Regional Coordinator discussed what can be availed by  livestock raisers and poultry growers for CY 2024 and 2025.

Lorenzo L. Alvina, Chief of the Integrated Laboratories Division and DRR focal person discussed the agency’s preparations for La Nina which has  60% probability in the months of June-July-August, per reports.

The farmers were able to voice out their concerns through the open forum after each presentation. Ten farmers also brought home complete sets of garden tools which were raffled off during the event.

The banner programs also supported the BPTHM by putting up booth/table to answer the queries of the farmer participants. Farmers’ concerns on DA’s projects such as Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), Civil Society Organization (CSO) Accreditation, Farm & Fishery Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2), Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), and Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) were also catered in their respective booths.

Recipients of big projects such as hauling trucks, lifting machines and 4WD tractor during the Bagong Pilipinas caravan launched by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the CSPC in Nabua, Camarines Sur on September 23, 2023 were also present.

Bagong Pilipinas is the overarching theme of the administration’s brand of governance and leadership, which calls  for a deep and fundamental transformations in all sectors of society and government, and fosters the State’s commitment towards the attainment of comprehensive policy reforms and full economic recovery.

Bagong Pilipinas is characterized by a principled, accountable and dependable government reinforced by unified institutions of society, whose, common objective is to realize the goals and aspirations of every Filipino.

Aside from getting feedback from farmers, the BPTHM aims to answer inquiries, pressing concerns and resolve some issues with regards to the implementation of DA projects 

The town hall meeting was spearheaded by the RAFIS in collaboration with the Field Operations Division. It marked the start of the weeklong celebration of the Farmers and Fisherfolk’s month at the DA Bicol.  (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)