Seven government and private offices sealed a pact on doing their mandates in putting up agri-business schools in Cavite Province in a roundtable discussion on April 21 at the Division Library Hub, Trece Martires City.

The Department of Education, Division of Cavite (DepEd-Cavite), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Agriculture-Cavite Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (DA-CARES), Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA), the Agricultural Training Institute-Region IV- A (ATI-4A), the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and City Savings Bank  agreed to join forces in the implementation of Republic Act 10618 known as Rural Farm Schools Act.

DepEd-Cavite headed by Ms. Cherrylou D. de Mesa, OIC-Schools Division Superintendent, with the project focal person Dr. Romeo E. Endraca, Education Program Supervisor in Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) informed the other lead agencies of the four Senior High Schools to  offer Agri-Fishery strand in the TVL track in June 2016.

Identified implementers were Bagbag National High School to specialize  on Organic Agriculture and Fish Processing, Munting Ilog National High School on Coffee  Production,   Naic National High School and Lumampong National High School on Vegetable Production.

Ms. De Mesa mentioned that there would be additional farm schools to be established in the succeeding school years.  The first and the subsequent  ones  would eventually be converted into agri-business academies.

Being aware of the necessity  of a strong agri-fishery group in the province, the DAR-Cavite represented by Trigedia Rebolledo, Planning Officer, promised to map out the children and grandchildren of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) recipients and send them to the said schools.

To back up the initiatives, DA-CARES headed by  Josefino Caramillo, SRS II,  the OPA led by Delio Rozul, ACC II,  the ATI-4A with Mariel Dayanghirang, Asst. Central Director,  and the IIRR with Irish Baguilat, , Project Coordinator, assured support by providing skill development  for teachers, starting  with a training scheduled on May 16-17, 2016. They further pledged to  furnish  seeds for the agriculture laboratories.

City Savings Bank with James Anthony Uy, Dasmariñas Branch Manager,  ensured the needed financial support to the  implementing institutions.

The meeting was also graced by other officials  of the partner agencies particularly Joselito Noceda, Senior Research Specialist of DA-CARES, Jeanneate B. Sicma of the Provincial 4H Club Office- OPA.

Present too were Dr. Editha M. Atendido, Asst. Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Elias A. Alicaya, OIC-Asst. Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Elpidia Bergado, Chief-Curriculum Implementation Division, and Estrellita de Vera, Education Program Supervisor-Science.

The principals of the concerned  schools namely Dr. Cristina Austria, Dr. Aurelia Dejan, Mercy de Borja and Aurora Chavez  likewise helped  by giving background information of their agri-fishery programs.

Wenifreda S. Diquit