The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) conducted a two-day orientation-seminar on integrated licensing, registration, and regulatory certification for farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) from Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, and Mountain Province. The seminar was held at the DA-CAR Old Conference Hall from March 28 to 29, 2023.
The activity informed the FCAs on the legal bases, processes, and requirements of different agencies that offer registration, licensing, accreditation, certification, and loans to businesses and agri-enterprises. It was also a great opportunity for the FCAs to learn about the various services available to them and how they can avail themselves of these services. With the knowledge gained from the seminar, the FCAs can better manage their agri-enterprises and improve their chances of success.
Representatives from various government agencies discussed their services, including Jennifer Mejia and Camille Mangunay from the Baguio City Permits and Licensing Division; Jonathan Rivera from the Department of Trade and Industry; Paul Adrian De Los Santos from the Department of Labor and Employment; Cristine Jane Blas, Jennifer Mendoza, Kyth Pallogan, Luciele Sawate, Joster Ko So, and Angeli Aura Sid from the Bureau of Internal Revenue; Jan Aris Trinidad from the Securities and Exchange Commission; Amelita Bayawa from the Cooperative Development Authority; Saturnina Pandosen from the Food and Drug Administration, and Kristoffer John Oro from Landbank.
DA-CAR representatives were also present to discuss the services offered by the agency. Magdalena Capis from the Regulatory Division discussed the guidelines on Good Agricultural Practices certification, while Marcial Lloyd Bayangan from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council enumerated the different loans that the FCAs could avail like Agri-Negosyo Loan Program (ANYO), and Kapital Access for Young Agri-preneurs (KAYA).
Additionally, Adrian Castañeda from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) explained the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Information System, which was designed to fast-track the delivery of DA-related grants, loans, and programs to the registered group enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Susan Balanza from the Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division also discussed the Civil Society Organization (CSO) accreditation process, the requirements, and the benefits of a CSO-accredited FCA.
To wrap up the activity, AMAD Assistant Chief Jerry Damoyan encouraged the FCAs to empower themselves by working as a group to achieve the goals of their organizations. Damoyan further hopes that this activity could improve their business operations so that they could also improve their marketing and expand their business. By JBPeralta