4-H Club Volunteer Leaders Meet for the 7th National Biennial Convention in Ilocos Norte

VLAP members in its 7th national convention

BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte -- "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

A quote from John Quincy Adams is aptly true to the 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association of the Philippines or VLAP, which is one of the rural-based organizations and an important partner of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in providing technical assistance to the young farmers.
Hence, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), as the DA's extension arm, in coordination with DA Regional Field Office I, spearheaded the 7th National Biennial Convention of 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association of the Philippines (VLAP) with the theme, "Volunteer Leaders: Sowing the Seeds of Excellence, Yesterday, Today and for Always."

Around 350 delegates attended the convention.They were VLAP Officers and members, provincial and municipal coordinators, ATI focal persons on RBOs and ATI Center Directors and representatives from DA- Regional Field Offices. 
During the opening program, in behalf of the guest speaker Honorable Imelda R. Marcos, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative, Provincial Administrator Attorney Wendell Chua,  delivered her message by congratulating 4-H Volunteer Leaders for its 7th Biennial National Convention and especially that the 4-H Club, though an old organization has, kept a good, clean reputation as a progressive youth organization over the years. Marcos further added, "Volunteerism is a great commitment and I admire you for this especially as it involves guiding young people to become more productive, more responsible and more dynamic members of society in national development. Take your job volunteer seriously as the youth look up to you as their guide or leaders. You fail your job, you fail them, too," Marcos concluded in her message.
ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot also addressed the VLAP volunteers to continue to be a high performing organization to be relevant for today and always. Saliot continued, "Being one of the members of VLAP in my time, I take pride in your notable accomplishments. VLAP plays a significant role in strenghtening the 4-H Clubs of the Philippines". He said, "Our organization remains a vital support system in sustaining the 4-H Clubs and other Rural Based Organizations therefore, rest assured ATI will continue to support VLAP".
The major topics covered during the convention were mostly focused on DA`s Region I projects and programs such as Strengthening the Extension Delivery System (Best Practices in Extension Services of Ilocos Norte; Agricultural Practices and Breakthroughs in the Ilocos Region; Programs, Projects and Activities to Adopt Climate Change in Region I; and the Role of VLAP Towards the 4-H Club Development. 
The resource speakers were Provincial Agriculturist Norma B. Lagmay, DA-Reg ion I; Erlinda F. Manipon, DA-RFU I Planning Division Chief; Dr. Marvin G. Quilates, DA-Bureau of Soils and Management Region I.On the other hand, the discussants on the Role of VLAP Towards the 4-H Club Development were Dr. Nonito D. Delgado, VLAP Adviser; Guimaludin A. Mokamad, VLAP National President and Mike T. Dumlao, VLAP Comrade. Moreover, the delegates were enamored with the success story presented by Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Florencio P. Laud of Batac City who is also VLAP Regional President of Region I. Likewise, Mayor Loreto T. Yu of Alang-alang, Leyte and VLAP Regional President Region VIII and Cenen Teresita M. Banal, VLAP Regional President Region XI delivered their international travel reports on Korea and Taiwan during the 1st 4-H Asia and Leaders' Meeting, respectively.
One of the highlights of the event was the oath taking of the new set of VLAP national officers for 2013 and the turn-over of VLAP banner to the host of the next biennial convention by Center Director Rogelio C. Evangelista of ATI Region I, the concurrent host of the affair to the next VLAP convention host which will be held in the Visayas region.
The participants also visited and learned the actual practices on agri-based projects in the region and enhanced the spirit of camaraderie among the VLAP participants through sharing of ideas and experiences.
The three-day affair was held from October 24 to 25, 2012 at Teatro Ilocandia, Mariano Marcos State University in this province. (report from Alicia Rose D. Nebreja and Ivan Robin M. Limjap, photo from Nervill John M. Alvaro)