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Neg. Occ. among 16 pilot provinces for agri, fisheries extension system

Department of Agriculture Western Visayas director Remelyn Recoter and Central Philippines State University president Aladino Moraca at the signing of the memorandum of agreement*

The Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas has teamed up with the Central Philippines State University (CPSU) in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental for the establishment of the province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (Pafes) to generate agri-based livelihood and enterprises among the farming sector through research, development, and extension.

“Pafes is one of the 12 key strategies being adopted by the agency to advance modernization in Philippine agriculture. We hope to foster sustained and stronger ties with the LGUs, state universities and colleges, and other stakeholders through this strategy,” DA 6 regional executive director, Remelyn Recoter, said during the orientation in Bacolod City on Tuesday.

She said the DA has identified Negros Occidental as among the 16 pilot provinces for Pafes implementation based on the expressed interest of the LGU, capacity and quality governance, and potential and presence of SUC with a strong agri-fishery research, development, and extension program.

Recoter inked a memorandum of agreement with CPSU president Aladino Moraca for the granting of a P1 million fund for the conduct of rapid appraisal of Negros Occidental to rollout the system implementation, a press release from the DA said yesterday.

“There is a need for rapid appraisal to ascertain the gap and the readiness of Negros Occidental province once the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia petition takes effect next year,” she said.

The Mandanas-Garcia ruling resulted from the petition filed by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr. before the SC on local government shares on Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

The petitioners said that LGU shares should include all national taxes. The SC affirmed that local government units are entitled to a “just share” on all national taxes collected and not only from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said in a statement.

Currently, an LGU’s IRA comes from 40 percent of national internal revenue taxes collected by the BIR. With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling implementation in 2022, it is projected that LGUs will have a 27.61 percent increase in the total IRA shares.

Partnering with the 74-year-old CPSU, the Pafes central goals of developing strong research and extension linkages, increasing rural income and livelihood, improving the institutional capabilities, and sustaining co-financing arrangements are seemed attainable, Recoter said.

CPSU is also a recipient of P4.5 million worth of climate-resilient training center, rainwater harvester, and solar irrigation system, plus P8.5 million funding for extension services to farmers belonging to Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (Amia) village.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, CPSU, and the DA will convene anew next week for the crafting of the technical working group, and the work and financial plan for the rapid appraisal activities.*

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