Department of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES) in a ceremony held on September 24, 2021 at the Bongabong Municipal Gymnasium, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro.

PAFES is one of the key strategies of the Department of Agriculture’s One DA Reform Agenda which aims to bring agricultural extension services closer to the people. It seeks to strengthen the collaboration among DA, local government units, academe, private sector, and other agencies in boosting agriculture and fisheries growth in the province. Through PAFES, the local government unit (LGU) will be at the forefront in delivering extension services to the farmers and fisherfolks such as the conduct of training, provision of farm machinery, production and infrastructure support, fishery and coastal marine resources conservation and protection, fishery law enforcement, downstream research, and marketing. The implementation of PAFES is also in anticipation of the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling which will take effect in 2022 where some of the services and programs of the National Government such as the Department of Agriculture will be devolved to the LGUs.

PAFES will be instituted in all provinces of the country, some pilot provinces have already signed the MOA and Oriental Mindoro is the second LGU in the MIMAROPA Region to institutionalize the PAFES. Along with DA and the Provincial Government, other collaborators are the Mindoro State University, ATI-MIMAROPA, National Food Authority, National Irrigation Administration, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Oriental Mindoro (LMP), the League of Municipal Agricultural Officers, Municipal and City Agriculturists of the Philippines – Oriental Mindoro (LeMMCAP), the Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Council (PAFC), the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (FARMC) and the Federation of National Irrigators Association (FNIA).

During the ceremony, several farmers and fisherfolk associations also received P37 million worth of agri-machineries, financial assistance, and other agricultural interventions under the various programs of DA-MIMAROPA.