New DA 6 exec underscores timeliness, science-based approach in service delivery
Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: July 4, 2023
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas’ newly installed Regional Executive Director (RED) Dennis R. Arpia pointed out that timely delivery of interventions and technology support to farming stakeholders is necessary for farmers and fishers in the region to achieve better yield and increased income.
Director Arpia, who previously led DA SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12) and DA Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9), officially received the banner of responsibility from former OIC-Regional Executive Director Engr. Jose Albert A. Barrogo who is now the DA Western Visayas’ full-fledged Director III and the Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension during a turnover program held on July 3 at Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC), Jaro, Iloilo City.
He said that although the agency has been providing subsidies to farmers to alleviate their plight, particularly during the pandemic and calamities, the DA, as a science-based and technical agency, should focus on delivering technical support and knowledge transfer to fully capacitate and empower the farming stakeholders.
“Ang tunay nating trabaho ay magbigay ng technical support sa ating mga kababayan para tumaas ang kanilang agricultural capabilities. Kung magbibigay tayo ng binhi, magbigay rin tayo ng teknolohiya para lumaki ang potensyal na tumaas ang kanilang ani,” said Arpia, who went on saying that farmers should not be considered as mere beneficiaries rather partners in community development.
Being the largest food-producing region outside of Luzon, Western Visayas has large production areas for rice and corn, and an important livestock sector. To handle the responsibilities of the region in terms of ensuring sufficient and quality food production despite the limited workforce, Director Arpia said the mandates and targets of the department should be taken through community-approach where each member of the organization understands his roles and responsibilities, and people, resources, and time are properly managed.
“Ang bagong panahon ng DA ay nangangailan ng bilis, kaya kailangan patuloy na magsanay para mas mabilis magdesisyon. Magdesisyon nang marangal. Naniniwala ako na pagdating sa kakayahan, hindi kinakapos ang DA. Ako ay naniniwala na kung talino, husay, commitment, at dedikasyon ang pag-uusapan, hindi magpapahuli ang DA Western Visayas (sic),” said Director Arpia.
In less than a year in office, the new DA 6 chief led DA SOCCSKSARGEN to be one of the top-performing regions in the country and ranked first in implementing the Rice and Corn Programs during the first quarter of 2022. As RED of DA Zamboanga Peninsula, he turned the region into the top performer nationwide in just a few months.
Director Arpia advised MANCOM members and employees to implement their mandates strategically to sustain the gains in production, and income, and motivate farmers to push through with their production and marketing despite the emerging sectoral constraints.
“Walang bibisa pa sa pagtiyak na kikita ang mga farmers para sya manatiling productive agricultural development worker,” he stressed.
He told DA Western Visayas’ MANCOM members to upscale working technologies and research results ready for commercialization, intensify information dissemination to benefit farmers, and facilitate Good Agricultural Practices and Halal certification of farms to give farmers better and premium pricing for their crops.
Likewise, Director Arpia said the Field Operations Division should anchor their activities on market development, while the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division on production. He also reiterated the importance of timeliness, particularly in the procurement, delivery, and construction of agricultural engineering projects.
He will be working closely with the Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division and will make sure that appropriate ICT-based reporting tools are utilized to guide the management in fair decision-making. He also hoped that the Administrative and Finance Division shall provide the necessary support functions to all the operating units and offices.
Director Arpia assured MANCOM members and employees that he will champion a transparent and consultative governance. “Ako ay nakikiusap na tayo ay magtulungan. Mula ngayon, tayo ay magsasama nang tapat, may respeto, at pagmamahalan. Dapat maramdaman ng mga magsasaka na ang opisina ng DA ay opisina nila. Dapat maramdaman nila na tayo ang kanilang kakampi.”###
Texts by Sheila Mae H. Toreno/DA-RAFIS 6 and Photos by Eunice L. Gregorio/DA-PRDP RPCO 6 InfoACE