ATI Conducts FITS Center Monitoring and Assessment in Calabarzon

Arceo of ATI interviews manager and staff of FITS in Imus, Cavite

DILIMAN, Quezon City -- The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) has started a rapid monitoring and assessment to more than 500 FITS centers all over the country. This is to determine if these centers are still functional and effective in delivering their intended services.

Likewise, the rapid monitoring activity aims to determine the status of the FITS centers which will be used as a basis in proposing for future budget allotment of the Techno Gabay Program (TGP). The initial FITS Center monitoring started with the three provinces from Calabarzon namely Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

As one of the components of the TGP, the Farmers' Information Technology Service (FITS) Center, also known in the field as Techno Pinoy Center, serves as a one-stop service facility nearest to the majority of farmers, entrepreneurs, and other clients in a given area. It provides fast access to information and technologies in forms appropriate that the clients' needs.

The Philippine Government issued in 2009 the Executive Order no. 801, otherwise known as "Encouraging Local Government Units (LGUs) to Adopt the Techno Gabay in their Agricultural Extension Programs and the Concerned Government Agencies to Provide the Required Assistance for the Purpose." It mandated ATI, as the training and extension arm of the Philippine Department of Agriculture, to link the extension programs of the Department to the extension delivery modalities under the TGP, as well as that of the state universities and colleges, LGUs, among others.

A total of 18 FITS Centers have been visited and assessed in Calabarzon last March 4 to 7, 2014. The rapid monitoring of FITS Centers will be conducted until July 2014.