TESDA, other agencies ink MOA to help rice industry

February 26, 2018

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), PhilRice, the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Project in line with the amendment of the Republic Act (RA) No. 8178 or the Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996.

The memorandum signing took place during the launching of Senator Cynthia Villar’s piloted project on Rice Competitiveness Enhancement on February 19 in her Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) Farm School in Bacoor, Cavite.

Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña who signed the agreement on behalf of the TESDA has expressed support for Villar’s thrust towards the development of new farming technology and comprehensive training on farm mechanization.

These will aid the Filipino farmers in their rice production and help improve their quality of life.

“I have instructed concerned TESDA officers to craft appropriate programs to effectively carry out our tasks. We have lined-up packages of programs for this in addition to our existing ‘PAFSE’ or Program on Accelerating Farm School Establishment which is currently assisting small farmers,” explained Lapeña regarding the role of the agency in the project.

Lapeña further detailed how TESDA has contributed to this project.

“TESDA has implemented programs in accelerating farm school establishment to encourage our farmers to establish farm field schools to increase productivity and become agro-entrepreneurs. Through our scholarship programs, we have established farm field schools in all provinces and will continue to do so, targeting the municipalities nationwide—this, with the aim of uplifting the quality of life of our farmers."

RA 8178 allocates excess rice tariff revenues for the titling of agricultural lands, expanded crop insurance program on rice and the crop diversification program from the rice fund aside from adding improved and more comprehensive training and aid for farmers in the country'.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones, former USEC Rosalina Bistoyong, PhilRice Acting Executive Director Dr. Sailila Abdula, PhilMechDirector IV Dr. Baldwin Jalorina, and ATI Director Alfredo Aton, were also present and represented their respective offices during the MOA signing.