CONVERGENCE PLAN. Various representatives from government line agencies and local government units pose after a meeting to uplift the lives of support farmers in the Soccsksargen region on Thursday (Feb. 2, 2023). At least 113 agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations in Sarangani province and General Santos City are expected to benefit from the initiative. (Photo courtesy of DAR-12)

KORONADAL CITY – Seven government agencies and nine local government units (LGUs) have joined hands to craft a plan that would benefit agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) members belonging to 113 agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) in Sarangani province and General Santos City.

Mariannie Lauban-Baunto, the Department of Agrarian Reform - Soccsksargen (DAR-12) director, said they partnered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Philippine Coconut Authority  (PCA), Department of Agriculture  (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the initiative.

The LGU partners, on the other hand, consisted of the Sarangani provincial government and its municipalities of Alabel, Glan, Kiamba, Maasim, Malapatan, Maitum and Malungon; and the city of General Santos.

Thursday's convergence is in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III to improve the livelihood of the farmers nationwide.

Baunto said this is achieved by providing farmers with support services such as farm machinery, farm inputs, agricultural technologies, and training, among others.
“These agencies have committed to sharing their resources to help uplift the lives of our farmers and promote sustainable development in the countryside,” she said in a statement Friday.
Those who joined the meeting included CDA– 12 Director Doreen Ancheta, PCA– 12 Director Elisa Gabi, DA– 12 Director Jocelyn Misterio, DOST– 12 Acting Director Nabil Hadji Yassin, DENR Ecosystems Management Specialist Karen Cariga, and DTI Development Specialist Hazel Daze Flores.
Representatives from the nine LGUs acknowledged the significant contributions of the DAR to the realization of the project.

They also committed to supporting the convergence plan and assured the agencies involved of their help in delivering the services to their respective constituents. (PNA)