The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA-RFO 02) in collaboration with National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Local Government Units (LGUs) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) meet today, May 17, 2019, to harmonize the rice physical area in Cagayan Valley.

According to Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo of DA-RFO 02, he is thankful for the initiative.

“Actually, this is a directive of DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol that we need to have a data on our rice areas as a basis in the planning of programs for the industry,” he said.

“Masyado ng malayo ang data natin kasi noong 2012 pa ito. We really need to update the figures.”

Edillo also mentioned that DA and NIA should collaborate as far as the implementation of irrigation projects is concerned.

“Better if we can delineate our projects since irrigation plays an important role in the maintenance of our areas.”

The harmonization had started last year wherein all the Provincial, City and Municipal Agriculturists and PSA are consulted through provincial consultations.

“At least now we have a figure,” said Farmer Director Isidro Acosta Sr.

“I feel guilty during our national conferences especially when our DA officials are asking us about data on rice and corn areas.”

Meanwhile, Regional Technical Director for Operations Roberto Busania said that there is a need to really implement laws on land conversion to ensure the region’s production areas.

“Our population keeps on growing every year. We should also be serious in preserving our key areas for us to survive.”

As to figures, the total rice area for Region 02 for 2012 is 339,604 ha.

As of 2019 and result of harmonization activities, it increased to 345,007 ha. which is the subject of critiquing by the group.