With the goal of expanding the reach of its various initiatives for farmers, fisherfolk, and rural workers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) entered into a partnership with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Caritas Philippines Foundation, Inc. through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 2.

The MOU aims to identify potential beneficiaries of DA initiatives such as the KADIWA, the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), conduct of trainings, and distribution of grants and other forms of interventions. It also encourages mutual assistance during the implementation of these programs.

Under the signed MOU, the DA, represented by Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban and Assistant Secretary for Consumer Affairs Kristine Evangelista, will identify communities that are qualified to avail its programs, projects and grants, as well as provide necessary support such as logistics, financing, capacity-building, and manpower, among many others.

The Caritas Philippines, managed by National Director Most Rev. Jose Colin Bagaforo, D.D. and Executive Secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr., will assist the agency in identifying qualified communities, organizing of farmers and communities involved, providing logistical and manpower assistance, and assisting communities in terms of proper implementation, recording, accounting, and reporting of the availed DA initiative. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)