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DAR, CSU partner to empower ARCs in Catanduanes

PTSNLogo2014 JuneThe Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Catanduanes State University have partnered in the organizational development of Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in the Bicol island-province of Catanduanes.

Luis Bueno Jr., DAR regional director for Bicol based here, on Wednesday said the partnership serves as another milestone in the DAR’s rural development efforts in the province as it draws near to a full-blown shift to Program Beneficiaries’ Development activities before the year ends.

The partnership with the CSU, according to Bueno, is one strategy being pursued by the DAR in efforts to spur ARCs empowerment in terms of training in managing their own development affairs after they were organized by the agency.

Catanduanes will be declared free by the third quarter of this year from its major Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program component — the Land Acquisition and Distribution.

DAR provincial agrarian reform officer Alexander Teves and CSU president Minerva Morales formalized the partnership by signing a Memorandum of Agreement recently.

The MOA covers institutional support programs for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) and their organizations in their social infrastructure and agricultural enterprise development activities.

In a statement, Morales stressed that the academe, as it has forged partnership with the DAR, remains at the heart of any development effort in the community.

“The kind of development obtaining in the society will reflect the kind of academe it has,” she added.

As provided under the MOA, DAR shoulders the training costs and materials covered in the agreement, while the CSU is expected to package training modules or other instructional media — including provision of professional 

services

 as trainors, secretariat support, and/or consultancy — when necessary, based on the approved training programs, Bueno said.For a start in the program implementation early this month, a three-day live-in training dubbed as Basic Accounting for Non-Accountants was given to designated treasurers and bookkeepers of 32 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) from all the 11 municipalities of the province where the DAR maintains its own development facilitator in each locality.

These ARBOs are composed of over 1,000 families of ARBs benefiting from the CARP that as of last year had already distributed Emancipation Patents/ Certificate of Land Ownership Awards covering over 3,000 hectares in Catanduanes under the DAR’s re-calibrated target.

Bueno said that as DAR closes LAD in the province by this year, the agency will be primarily focused on PBD, leading to a more vigorous implementation of the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program the province.

ARCCESS is a nationwide program being implemented by the DAR to transform ARBs into viable entrepreneurs by providing them support services to increase their income and farming capabilities.

The program has two major components — the first is the delivery of professional services to farmers’ organizations and the second is provision of farm implements and machineries.

Under the first component, DAR is tapping professional services from colleges, universities, non-government organizations, financial institutions and the private sector to conduct lessons on business development, agri-technology and finance management to farmers and help them become entrepreneurs and not just mere crop producers.

“DAR is utilizing in full the public-private partnership scheme in support to our ARC development programs that would ensure viable livelihood systems, through project-based models,” Bueno said.

This way, each farmer’s organization can undertake and manage effectively their agri-enterprises through synchronization of activities, ensuring the delivery of services and the provision of first-level grievance mechanism in cases of conflict affecting the implementation of the project, he added.

Source: PhilippineTimes

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