As I write this blog, I am already at my office desk. The work-from-home scheme was already up since our province is no longer on enhanced community quarantine; rather, it’s on general beginning May 1 to 31, 2020 where agriculture, fisheries, and forestry sectors may resume full operations.
However, being in general community quarantine means that the movement of people is largely limited to “accessing necessities and work” while uniformed personnel and quarantine officers are present at border checkpoints.
The community quarantine prompted some of us to avail the work from home scheme. Aside from sticking with the targets and sending accomplishment reports, most of us must have been cooking regularly and are already a self-confessed cook by now. We make the most of whatever resources available since the majority of us have limited exposure outside and are discouraged from leaving home.
The Covid-19 Pandemic is totally unexpected. It didn’t just create a detour in our plans but totally erased our plans, forcing us to craft a new one. It has brought down the economy of the world. Personally, our small investment in stocks was greatly affected like all stock markets worldwide. Our stock portfolio has plummeted and I have no idea when it will recover. The pandemic has resulted to deaths and near deaths, of whom some are dear to me.
I am deviating from writing about agriculture as my previous blogs were about and write about something that is current and somebody I treasure.
At this time of Quarantine, having a child with Autism tries not only my patience but also my wallet. My son Gab, who is now 13 years old was diagnosed early on to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is difficult for him to be homebound after being in school every day. Actually, he looks forward to going to school because it means that he will get to eat snacks and lunch from his favorite fastfood stores.
The alarm beeps at 6 AM. “6 AM?”, I said. “I’m working from home! Why should I be waking up this early?” The voice behind my bedroom door replies. “Mangguna na ta!” (Let’s start weeding). The alarm beeped at 6 AM and that alarm was my mother forcing us out of our rooms to help her do the gardening.
Honestly speaking, I am not a morning person. If given time, I’d choose sleep. Now that almost everyone is working from home for the past weeks, I bet every bed person would be shouting, “Hallelujah”.
These are what would come to greet you should you be able to walk past the strict security at the Visayas State University's main gate and visit the ATI RTC 8 office. From the usual office conundrum of whirring printers and glaring laptop and desktop monitors, the silence is something for the books. You can now hear the birds chirp!
All these belie the true nature of what ATI is actually doing.
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.