Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, guest of honor during a consultative meeting of public information officers (PIOs) held on 7-9 December 2010 at the BSWM Convention Hall, underscored the importance of information officers as conduits of relevant and updated information on the Department's latest initiatives and programs.
The activity was spearheaded by the Agriculture and Fisheries Information Service (AFIS), led by Director Noel O. Reyes, who welcomed the participants. According to him, the consultative meeting was called in an effort to brief and orient the DA information officers on the new management's directions and directives. He also asked the information officers to keep the communication lines and channels open particularly for regular updates and success stories on the agency's activities in line with the DA's major programs and initiatives. The hope is to develop an efficient, effective and working network among PIOs in spreading the good news and keeping the public updated.
"No matter how good the intentions of the DA are in helping farmers and fisherfolk, the general public will remain clueless about our projects if these are left unannounced. As information officers who are tasked to disseminate needed information, you are vital instruments in making the people know and feel the true programs of the DA," Sec. Alcala said.
To realize this, Sec. Alcala specifically instructed the group to translate various information education communication (IEC) materials on the latest technologies into various dialects that would be easier for farmers and fisherfolk to understand and appreciate. Likewise, this goes true for news bulletins, and segments aired on the radio or shown on television.
The three-day consultative meeting and planning workshop featured presentations and discussions on the current thrusts and programs of the DA that included: 1) Agri-Pinoy Program (DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat), 2) DA Rationalization Plan (Agricultural Training Institute Asst. Dir. Alberto Maningding), 3) DA Fisheries Program (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Asst. Dir. Gil Adora), 4) Agri Pinoy Trading Posts (Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura ng Quezon Foundation Dir. Ariel Mañalac), 5) DA Foreign-assisted Projects (Engr. Roy Abaya of the Special Projects Coordination and Management Assistance Division), 6) DA Corn Program (Mr. Gary Rubio), 7) Rice Program (Mr. Glenn Estrada), 8) DA-HVCC Program (Ms. Arriane Aldeza), and 9) DA Webpage and IT initiatives (Ms. Liliosa Carmona of the Information Technology Center for Agriculture and Fisheries).