On the Road for the Rapid FITS Monitoring

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My latest travel on the road with Ben along with Sir Olan and Ms. Gigi to Quezon Province and Marinduque allowed me to experience firsthand what it means to be an extension worker.

There’s a big difference in seeing a colleague’s post online (or dish out a sordid tale) regarding what transpired during his or her travel period and being out there. From my vantage point, the inconvenience that the extension workers and coordinators went through seems face value to me until I did the legwork with them since the real deal requires enduring long travel hours, be blasted by the noonday heat and be stifled by dust as comfort takes a backseat while doing what needs to be done---Sir Olan pointed that out to us.

While Ben talked his way out to five of the major respondents (in Catanauan, Gumaca, Alabat, Real, Quezon Province and in Boac, Marinduque) comprising of municipal agriculturists and center coordinators, the very purpose is to see if the centers are still operational and effective in delivering its services and from there, the status of the Farmers’ Information Technology Services or FITS centers will be the basis in proposing future budget allotment via the Techno Gabay Program (TGP). The FITS is one of the components of the TGP also known in the region as Techno Pinoy Center which is a one-stop hub access to information and technologies specifically created for the farmers.

Having to monitor and assess the status of the FITS centers through geotagging is an opportunity for ATI to further intensify its image as an established institution. This initiative to step over and prove others that it can do the job it desires to achieve is indeed palpable since through geotagging, it can tell internet users the specific location of the FITS centers replete with pictures, coordinates and other identification data.

The rapid monitoring and assessment to more than 700 plus FITS Center nationwide is still in full swing and is expected to be completed by July this year.


Our adventure on the road was peppered with misadventures as well which include (1.) almost left behind by the ferry boat twice en route to Marinduque and back. Once we were inside, the ferry’s ramp was immediately drawn. (2.) chased by a random cray cray dog which burst out of nowhere target-locking Sir Olan’s hefty legs. (3.) hostile waves, which now I believe IS my travel partner’s kryptonite (4.) and my diarrhea.

While in the van homeward bound to Manila, Ben’s inner prankster kicked-in attempting to shatter my concentration to keep my tummy together and to spare myself from future embarrassment.

It’s a nifty move to always have Imodium or Kremil-S ready.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.