LOS ANGELES, Butuan City – Regional officers and coordinators of the Rural Based Organization (RBO) and 4-H Club convened last February 21-22, 2019 at the Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center XIII (ATI-Caraga). The said activity was entitled “4-H/RBO Regional Consultative Meeting” which was aimed at addressing issues and concerns, presenting the 2019 Work and Financial Plan (WFP), and formulating plans and programs in the locality.
The said gathering was attended by twenty-eight (28) participants composed of provincial and city RBO/ 4-H Club coordinators, RBO regional officers, and a focal person from DA-RFO XIII.
During the first day of the meeting, Mary Jane Gonzaga (ATI 4-H focal person) and Hazel Colinares (DA-RFO XIII RBO focal person), presented the approved WFP for 2019, policies and guidelines for the RBO and 4-H programs, and discussion of the Regional Youth Camp, Farm Family Regional Congress and RIC Regional Convention. There was also an election of officers that took place during Day 1 of the meeting.
In Day 2, the activities covered were action planning, presentation of the plans and discussion of issues and concerns. Prior to the closing program, lectures on Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) and Farm Tourism were given by Heracleo Paler (ATI-Caraga Sr. Agriculturist) and Samuel Calonzo (ATI-Caraga OIC Center Director) respectively.
During the closing program, several participants conveyed their impressions of the two-day activity. Merilyn Laurenciana, the RBO coordinator of Butuan City, expressed her thanks to ATI for the opportunity of the invited participants. According to her, the meeting was a way for her to strengthen her local RBO through the training and activities which will be funded by ATI soon. But what inspired her the most was the lecture on Farm Tourism. She said, “Mas na ingganyo ko nga ihinay-hinay na nako ug develop ang akong gamay nga luna kay mangandoy pud ko nga puhon-puhon basin mupasar kini isip usa ka farm tourism site. Kay sama ni Sir Sammy, hapit na pud ko mu retire.” (I was more encouraged to start developing my small farm because I am also hoping and planning that I will have a farm tourism site of my own. Just like Sir Sammy, I am also about to retire).
Other participants articulated their concern on the availability of water at the training venue. Director Calonzo apologized for the inconvenience and explained that the Center has tried its best to extract groundwater within its premises since the Water District still cannot supply water in the entire barangay. Unfortunately, three recent drilling attempts failed. Another drilling will be done next week and Calonzo hoped that it will already yield water in order to address the Center’s longstanding problem on water supply.