Albay gets P48M for topping FIELDS
() - October 25, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has announced a new P48-million funding for the irrigation priorities of Albay.

The fund allocation is a reward for Albay’s having bested all provinces in the 2009 national performance evaluation of FIELDS by the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) and the South East Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies in Research and Agriculture (SEARCA).

FIELDS stands for Fields, Irrigation, Extension (and education and trainings), Loans, Dryers and other post-harvest facilities and Seeds. It is the Department Agriculture’s banner program to hike rice production and make the country self sufficient in rice.

Dr. Frisco Malabanan of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) said DA has commissioned a three-member panel from UPLB and SEARCA to undertake the nationwide evaluation.

Malabanan said the UPLB-SEARCA team, headed by Dr. Flordeliza Lantican conducted a rapid assessment of the FIELDS program on July 26-31 in five FIELDS areas in Albay, including the towns of Camalig, Oas, Libon, Polangui and Tabaco City.

Since the implementation of the FIELDS program, Malabanan noted, Albay, under the leadership of Gov. Joey S. Salceda, who is also a Presidential Economic Adviser, has significantly increased its rice output by 23 percent.

The evaluation, which included field interviews with farmers, focus group discussions, on-site visitations and data analysis revealed that Albay farmers were highly satisfied by the way their Provincial Agricultural Services Office (PASO) oversees the FIELDS program.

After the five-day evaluation, GMA Rice Coordinator Ernesto S. de la Torre said the UPLB-SEARCA panel was so impressed by the very transparent manner PASO implements FIELDS in Albay and how farmer-cooperators in the province respond to the program.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY ARTHUR YAP ALBAY DEPARTMENT AGRICULTURE DR. FLORDELIZA LANTICAN DR. FRISCO MALABANAN OF THE PHILIPPINE RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE FIELDS GRADUATE STUDIES JOEY S LOS BA MALABANAN POLANGUI AND TABACO CITY
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