15 Jun Promoting the project at the regional level
The May 2010 national election of Benigno Aquino III as the Philippines’ new president brings high hopes that he will follow the legacy of his parents and work to eliminate corruption and poverty and restore trust in government.
Over the past few months there have also been several changes in personnel on the regional level. Vicky Garcia made a number of courtesy calls to regional government offices in the Cordillera in order to update current and new administrators about the project and promote good relations for their continued support.
DA CAR Director Lucresio Alviar, Jr
Vicky was anxious to meet the new Department of Agriculture (CAR) Director Lucresio Alviar Jr, who replaced Director Cesar Rodriguez. Vicky took the opportunity to introduce Director Alviar to the work of the Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project. Director Alviar was very interested in the project’s activities and requested more information about the changes in agricultural outputs as a result of the project. Also attending the meeting were Tulip Yagyagan, Heirloom Rice Regional coordinator for NIA (CAR) and Robert Domoguen, DA (CAR) Information Officer.
NIA (CAR) Regional Director Engineer John Socalo
The National Irrigation Administration (CAR) has a new regional director with the appointment of Engineer John Socalo. Prior to his appointment as the regional NIA administrator, Director Socalo (Kalinga) was the provincial director of NIA (Kalinga).
In 2009, the Kalinga NIA office provided logistical support during the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP) inspection of the project’s pilot certification areas. During her recent visit with the Director, they outlined the areas where the work of RICE, Inc. aligned with the NIA mandate to assist farmers/irrigators in irrigation and production support and services. Director Socalo confirmed his continued support for the Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project and sees specific areas of partnership with RICE Inc.
CHARM 2 Director Cameroon Odsey
The Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM) Project is a government poverty reduction program, executed through the Department of Agriculture, that target specifically targets Indigenous communities in three provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The CHARM goal is to increase the farm family income of the rural poor through sustainable agricultural development and enhance the quality of life of the rural poor through improving land tenure security, food security and watershed conservation.
Vicky specifically requested a meeting with CHARM Director Cameroon Odsey to give him an update on the Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project. RICE, Inc. operates its programs in nine of the thirty-seven targeted municipalities (21 of the 85 villages) of CHARM 2. Inclusion in program offers an opportunity for assistance in the areas of irrigation improvements, organic agriculture trainings and other infrastructure support. Director Odsey was very excited to share CHARM2’s plans for institutionalizing the capacity of village organizations, an effort that is certainly shared by the Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project.