PRDP MIMAROPA Regional Project Director Cipriano Santiago (fifth from right, in yellow), Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. (center), PRDP South Luzon PSO I-PLAN Component Head Rey Lara (first from left), and the representatives of various agencies gathered for the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan particularly on the calamansi industry. (Photo by Leira Vic Colongon, DA-PRDP RPCO 4B InfoACE Unit)
Key technologies, relevant information, and other resources can be maximized and will benefit more people when national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), and the private sector converge.
That is mainly why the formation of an alliance among various agencies was formalized in the Province of Oriental Mindoro. Specifically, the province aims to reinforce its calamansi industry through the said convergence and the investments of various government and nongovernment offices.
The Oriental Mindoro interagency convergence included the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Landbank of the Philippines, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MSCAT).
“Our purpose this time is organizing an interagency convergence for facilitating the different programs and projects for the calamansi [industry],” explained PRDP MIMAROPA Regional Project Director Cipriano Santiago.
The calamansi, being a top agricultural produce of many provinces in the country particularly Oriental Mindoro, is also the core commodity supported by the pilot subprojects of the PRDP in the MIMAROPA Region.
Improving the calamansi value chain was one of the objectives of the PRDP-funded subprojects in the province. The said subprojects are the Oriental Mindoro Calamansi Trading Center and Buying Station, which is at the completion stage, the completed Barangay Bagong Silang to Macatoc farm-to-market road (FMR), and the ongoing Barangay Dulangan I to Dulangan II FMR.
Through the newly formed inter-agency alliance, more projects and investments are expected for the enhancement of the province’s calamansi industry. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the regional counterparts of various agencies will serve as their formal commitment not just in the implementation but also in the mainstreaming of Oriental Mindoro’s Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP).
“Lahat-lahat tayo may mga assistance na ginagawa for the development of the calamansi. Gagawin natin iyon not for the sake of the PRDP project, but for the sake of the calamansi industry (All of us are providing assistance for the development of the calamansi. We will be doing these not for the sake of the PRDP project, but for the sake of the calamansi industry),” Director Santiago stated.
During the MOU signing, the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU), which is led by Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. and spearheaded by the Provincial Agriculture Office, presented the proposed interventions, on top of the PRDP subprojects, that aim to improve the lives of calamansi growers.
Provincial Agriculturist Christine Pine presented the plans and programs that the LGU will prioritize with the help of the involved agencies. The investments are expected to address the issues and constraints that calamansi farmers and growers are experiencing.
According to Governor Umali, it is important that the identified projects would materialize for it to contribute to the island development of Mindoro, which includes the development of both the Oriental and Occidental.
“Tingnan natin kung ano ’yong p’wede nating gawin. Napaka-importante nito kasi ’yong produkto ang tinitingnan nila dito (Let us see what we can do. This is very important, because here, they focus on the products),” said Governor Umali.
The MIMAROPA Region has diverse agricultural commodities from its five provinces. Through the mainstreaming of PCIPs and the interagency convergence, specific priority interventions will be identified and implemented for the development of the commodity value chains, and eventually that of the rural communities in the region.