In a bid to hasten development efforts in all Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in Catanduanes, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has signed an agreement with the Catanduanes State University (CSU) on institutional support programs in the communities’ enterprise activities.
In a ceremony held at RHAJ Inn in Virac last Aug. 22, PARPO-II Alexander T. Teves of DAR and SUC President-III Dr. Minerva I. Morales of CSU signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) as witnessed by key officials from both agencies, CARPO Nerisa Aldea and Engr. Anselmo Vargas Jr. from DAR, and Dr. Lily P. Custodio, Board Secretary Renato Panti and Extension Services Director Marilyn B. Panti, from CSU.
The partnership with the academe is seen to spur new initiatives in terms of managing their own development affairs in the ARC organizations organized by the DAR. In attendance during the three-day live-in training dubbed as Basic Accounting for Non-Accountants at the venue were designated treasurers and bookkeepers from 32 ARC peoples’ organizations in the 11 municipalities of the province where the DAR maintains its own Development Facilitator (DF) in each locality. Dr. Lily Custodio of CSU College of Business and Accountancy (CBA) served as the lone trainor-speaker during the three-day training which also catered to select DAR personnel as participants along with the ARBs.
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, PARPO Teves said that the DAR will shoulder 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.
PARPO Teves hailed the event 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 (PBD) activities before the year ends. He said that Catanduanes will soon be declared free by the third quarter this year from its major CARP component, which is Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD).
Meanwhile, Dr. Morales emphasized that the academe as it has forged partnership with the DAR, remains at the heart of any development effort in the community. She added that the kind of development obtaining in society would reflect the kind of academe it has. In response, ex-Punong Barangay Tito Torillos from Biong, Gigmoto lauded the DAR and the CSU in coming up with their unique intervention that he said would greatly benefit them in their organizations.