LEGAZPI CITY—The Department of Agriculture in Bicol is one of the 10 government agencies tapped as partner by the project United Services and Actions on Poverty Together with the Agencies for Youth Opportunity Expo (USAPTAYOE) of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 5 and the research team from the University of California, Princeton University and the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

USAPTAYOE is aimed at making government services accessible and available to the youth in the remote barangays of the Bicol Region in relation to Executive Order Number 70. The project seeks to utilize the “whole of the nation approach” in ending communist insurgency with PNP as the main proponent in coming up with a sustainable program that will benefit the youth from remote barangays, out-of-school youth and make basic government services more accessible to them.

The DA is joined by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Education (DepEd), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Health (DOH), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

IPA Field Research Manager Grace Labalan disclosed that they have conducted meetings with the municipal local government operation officers, municipal social welfare officers, barangay captains and Sangguniang Kabataan chairmen in 200 barangays in 40 municipalities of the Bicol Region.

Labalan added that the meeting showed the needs of the barangays in remote areas in terms of peace, security, education, agriculture and livelihood.

For the agriculture sector, the participants’ need is assistance and intervention from the DA through vegetable seeds, fertilizers, trainings and fingerlings from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The 10 government agencies cited their programs for the youth—scholarship from CHED; Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Scholarship and farming/livelihood program from DA; Tayong Kalikasan from DENR; Alternative Learning Systems from DepEd; SK Mandatory Trainings from DILG; Immersion and On-the-Job Training from DPWH; Adolescent Health Development Program from DOH; Sustainable Livelihood Program from DSWD; Scholarship and Trainings from TESDA; and Livelihood and Scholarship from DOLE.

The Memorandum of Agreement between the agencies and the proponent was signed on April 15, 2019. (jaysonmgonzales)