DA opens ‘Malasakit’ desk for farmers

AGRI HELP DESK. Engr. Remelyn Recoter, Regional Executive Director of DA-RFU 6, attends to the concerns of former OFW Ney Lumampao during the opening of the Malasakit Help Desk at the DA -WESVIARC in Hamungaya, Jaro on Friday, 15 February 2019. (Remelyn Recoter)

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday opened two Malasakit Help Desks in Western Visayas to serve its farmer-clients and other sectors that are interested to engage in agriculture.

Engineer Remelyn Recoter, DA 6 (Western Visayas) Executive Director, said the establishment of the center was in compliance with the memorandum of Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to re-launch their Malasakit Help Desk as “an Integrated Public Assistance Center”.

“If other Malasakit centers are more on health services, our desk is more on agricultural services. This is in response to the aim of President Rodrigo Duterte to fast-track the delivery of services to our clients,” Recoter said during the launch.

The one-stop-shop center operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday and will be manned by desk officers to be assisted by other concerned divisions.

“We will request for other frontline services of the agencies but they can also organize and establish their own Malasakit Center,” she said.

The desk will provide information made available by the regional office, as well as assistance from other agencies, corporations and bureaus attached to the DA.

Among them are the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, which to date has already a P240 million loan exposure in Western Visayas; marketing services; provision of planting materials and vegetable, rice and corn seeds; among others.

“Aside from providing information needed by our farmers, it can also provide if there are requests for training activities to inform concerned agencies. We will not just be limited to the farmer sector but other sectors that are interested to learn about farming technology,” she added.

The help desks are available at the DA – Western Visayas Agriculture and Research Consortium in Hamungaya, Jaro for farmers coming through the northern part of Iloilo; and at the DA operations center in Parola, City Proper for those coming from the south.

Meanwhile, among the first clients of the desk were Ney Lumampao and Nelson Causing, both from Iloilo province.

Lumampao said he was a “distressed” overseas Filipino worker who was affected by the crisis in Saudi Arabia.