By: Evelyn A. Gecale
Los Baños, Laguna – The University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) represented by its President and former SMAARRDEC Director, Dr. Lourdes C. Generalao and the Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) represented by its Executive Director, Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the implementation of S&T Action Frontline for Emergencies and Hazards (SAFE) Program in Davao Region. This is in support of the initiatives of USeP in sustaining the rehabilitation program of the Typhoon Pablo-Stricken Communities in the region.
In 2014, the Southern Mindanao Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAARRDEC) implemented the program entitled “Assessment, Capacity Building and Rehabilitation of Selected Pablo Stricken Communities in Davao Region” in the selected areas of Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley Province and Davao del Norte. The consortium member agencies who were the key players of the said project were USeP, Davao del Norte State College (DNSC), Southern Philippines Agri-business Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) and the University of the Philippines in Mindanao (UPMin). Interventions given to the beneficiaries were capability building (trainings/seminars), planting materials, farming tools for the farmers and fishing nets and boats for the fisherfolks.
Generalao being the SMAARRDEC Director then have seen the need to sustain the project. Upon assuming the USeP Presidency she allotted a budget for the project and lodged it under the Extension Division of the university.
The SAFE Program of PCAARRD on the other hand is under its Technology Transfer Program Division (TTPD). It serves as a formal emergency response program and an institutional system for both emergency-or-hazard-related R&D and technology transfer. TTPD Director Dr. Melvin B. Carlos believes that the previous Pablo-Rehab program is a model project that best described the essence of SAFE in terms of technology transfer.
Among the agreements stipulated in the MOU is to pursue cooperation and collaboration in the development and implementation of projects in establishing appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies for disaster and climate change resilient communities in Davao Region; support extension initiative aimed at AANR disaster risk mitigation and adaptation in line with the SAFE Program; and identify farmers, farmer groups and like-minded institutions that can serve as co-implementers and beneficiaries of the SAFE Program initiatives.
The signing of the MOU was done on July 28, 2016 at the E.O.Tan Hall, PCAARRD Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna in time of the celebrations of PCAARRD 5th Anniversary and National Science and Technology Week 2016.