KICHARAO, Agusan del Norte- The Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), together with the Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PhilFIDA) and the Matatag Fighters under the leadership of Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding officer of 29th Infantry (Matatag) Battalion facilitated a 2-day refresher training on Abaca to the Zapanta Valley Mamanwa -Manobo Association (ZAMMA) at Zapanta Valley, Brgy. Bangayan, Kicharao, Agusan del Norte on July 27-28, 2020.
ZAMMA was organized and registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) by the Community Support Team (CST) of Alpha Company last June 2018. This organization is composed of 77 members who belong to what is called the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Zapanta Valley. They were in the Conflict-Affected Areas (ConAAs) under 29IB and were in one of the priority areas of the Peace and Development Zone (PDZ).
The 2-day training was initiated by Ms Jane Pansacala, the Provincial Value Chain Specialist on Project ConVERGE with Mr Justiniano Orina Jr., the technical Assistant Unit Head of PhilFida- CARAGA. The training program consisted of a series of lectures, Abaca Production Technology and Disease Management was tackled on the first day, followed by a practical application of the Abaca Fiber Classification and Grading on the second day.
Gingging Anlangan, Chairman of ZAMMA expressed her gratitude in her statement, “I am grateful for the continuous support of the government especially of the DAR and the PhilFIDA who provided us with the lessons on how to improve our abaca production to increase its market value which will really be of great help for our everyday living. Also, we are thankful for 29IB’s unending efforts to provide security and to assist in the development of our community.
According to Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, “I am glad and grateful for the continued enthusiasm of our DAR and PhilFida partners who never get tired of extending help to these people. Truly, this project ConVerge wouldn’t be possible nor will it become successful if not for the converged efforts of various government agencies and of course, without the sincere appreciation and participation of the organizational members who have widely benefited from this program.”
“May we continue to work hand in hand to provide similar projects to all other community organizations, so that they may not only see the realization of the government’s promised help but also that they may feel that there is a government who truly cares for them”, Criste added