Cyril Soliaban, Chief of Monitoring and Evaluation Section clarifies key points of having an exit conference after the participatory monitoring and tracking of DA-funded programs and projects in Davao Region.

Farm-to-market roads (FMR) comprised more than 30% of 149 programs and projects evaluated by the members of participatory monitoring and tracking (PMT) team from September 17 to 24, 2018 in five provinces and one city of Davao Region.

Six monitoring groups from the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) and private-sector stakeholders of the Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) tracked and evaluated programs and projects funded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) from 2015 to 2018.

The list, provided by the DA-Monitoring and Evaluation Division (MED), also included farm machineries and equipment, as well as, irrigation facilities under various DA banner programs.

The results of monitoring were presented in the exit conference with the DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) including the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED), local government unit (LGU) of Davao City and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region XI on the last working day of the week.

Each team presented the results of its monitoring and validation. Issues, concerns and other findings gathered during the one-on-one interview with the recipient-beneficiaries and specific recommendations to address such issues were also presented.

For the FMR, absence of concrete marker, inaccurate reporting, issues on right of way during the implementation, and the physical attributes of the projects were directly addressed by representatives of both DA-RAED and DPWH.

Based on the 2016 general guidelines on the implementation of FMR development program issued by the DA, a concrete marker for every FMR project must be installed for proper identification. Specifications on the construction of concrete marker were given to the DPWH team for their reference.   

On the issue of inaccurate reporting, RAED Chief Engr. Marc Adrian Baddongon noticed that there were discrepancies on the list provided by DA-MED and the report of PMT team; clarifying that on the provided list a certain FMR was tagged complete while on PMT report, the project is under construction.

Moreover, Engr. Baddongon explained that DA-RAED conducts pre-evaluation on identified area prior to implementation of FMR project to settle dispute on the issue of road right of way. On this note, Engr. Ronnie Cariaga, Jr. of DPWH Region XI clarified the limitations and the scope of work as an implementing agency.

Engr. Cariaga added that the DPWH will implement FMR projects included on the approved list. Cariaga urged that during the validation, the DA must coordinate with the concerned LGU officials for the road right of way as it causes the delay of the project.  

Issues on farm machineries and equipment were also noted and addressed directly by DA-RFO. These include the provision of shade/canopy as counterpart of recipient-beneficiaries, provision of accessories for machineries needing a generator set or transformer and the utilization policies on the usage of equipment.   

Upon agreement by the body, Monitoring and Evaluation Section Chief Cyril Soliaban assured that concerned agencies will be given a copy of monitoring reports for their comments and inputs. It was also agreed that an inter-agency monitoring must be conducted in the future.

Capping off the activity, Regional AFC Chairperson Epifanio Loyola expressed his gratitude to the participants and gave his commitment for future monitoring activities of all DA-funded programs and projects in the region. – JD