Government partners in Region VI including NEDA, DAR, NCIP, ATI, PhilFIDA, PCA, and CDA renewed their partnership agreement with DA6 for the implementation of the 3rd phase of “Panay Island Upland Sustainable Rural Development Project (PIU-SRDP)” with funding support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency with the hope of substantially reducing poverty incidence in the upland areas of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo, specifically in the municipalities of Libacao, Patnongon, Jamindan, Tapaz, and Alimodian.

The formal collaboration was held at MO2 Westown Hotel, Iloilo City on October 17, 2018.  Among those present during the signing were DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel T. Cayanan, Mr. Lee Sangback of KOICA Philippines, Director Remelyn R. Recoterof DA VI, Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal of NEDA VI, Atty. Jane Bacayo of DA-FOS, and U-Nichols Manalo of DA-SPCMAD.

PIU-SRDP is a five-year (2015 – 2019) collaborative rural development project which  provides assistance in upland communities in the region to increase household income levels, increase production, productivity and sustainability, improve and strengthen marketing assistance and intensify ecological awareness among the farming population in pilot areas to achieve a more sustained rural development.

The project is on its third phase of implementation which hopes to establish an inclusive agriculture marketing system by improving agribusiness financial facilities and marketing systems at the local and regional level.  To realize this, There are three major components to be implemented:  1) Marketing Structure Improvement; 2) Establishment of Agri-Business Financial Facility; and 3) Enhancement of Public-Private Partnerships.  Specifically, the improvement of the marketing structure under Phase III includes the establishment of agricultural consolidation and marketing centers, local food terminals at the regional level and Bayanihan Tipon Centers (BTC).  The LFT situated in San Miguel, Iloilo will act as the central marketing hub to promote the consolidation and marketing of local products from the BTCs in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo – all in Panay Island.

The activity was capped with the ceremonial turn-over of hauling trucks and marketing equipment from KOICA to DA-VI.  The trucks and equipment will eventually be given by DA-VI to project partners for ease of product consolidation by the local food terminal from the different Bayanihan Tipon Centers. (PDIPBD)