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Home/ News & Articles/ Mending the Digital Divide: DA-ATI, LSPU partner up for TGP Summit 2023
Mending the Digital Divide: DA-ATI, LSPU partner up for TGP Summit 2023

Reposted; First Posted on: December 21, 2023


Where there are gaps, there are opportunities to explore and flourish.   

The Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Training Institute (DAT-ATI) and the Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU), in collaboration with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist-Laguna Province (OPA-Laguna), conducted this year’s Techno Gabay Program (TGP) 2023 focusing on the integration of digital technology in the agricultural sector, Nov. 15-17. 

The three-day event with this year’s theme of “TGP Connect: Bridging the Digital Divide through Empowerment of TGP Implementers” and with about 250 participants was held via hybrid modality at the LSPU-Siniloan Campus and via online platforms such as Zoom and Facebook.

The TGP is an annual gathering of Magsasakang Siyentista (MS), local government units (LGUs), extension service providers, research and development (R&D) agencies, and non-government organizations aimed at accelerating the modernization of agriculture and natural resource sectors by improving access to knowledge and technologies. 

The TGP 2023 also shed light on strengthening collaboration among stakeholders and partner agencies and individuals in propelling agricultural technology. 

Regional Accomplishments

The first day of the summit aimed at the presentation of accomplishments of the region before the online participants.

Maridelle Jaurigue, Chief of Information Services of the DA-ATI, explained the rationale and background of the event while Janine Cailo, Information Officer II, took over the presentation of the TGP 2023 accomplishments. Team leaders headed the presentation of accomplishments for each province, namely: Bernadette Amparo (Cavite), Engr. Rommel Octavius R. Nuestro (Laguna), Anniversary Mañaol Balbuena (Rizal), Joana Marie Carolino (Batangas), and Dr. Leomar Miano (Batangas). 

Dr. Rolando Maningas, Center Director of DA-ATI Calabarzon, praised the dedication and skills of Farmers Information Services (FITS) centers that continuously provide their services despite the challenges they face, stressing the value of the knowledge they gained in exploring digital communication. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Mario R. Briones, University President of LSPU, stated that the university embarked on TGP 2023 not only to seek to grace the digital divide but also to fortify this transformative journey through collaborative partnership with the DA-ATI Calabarzon and OPA-Laguna. 
He also pointed out that the conduct of the TGP 2023 is not just about launching a program but sowing the seeds of a robust ecosystem where technology and tradition harmonize to propel the agricultural community into a prosperous and sustainable future. 

Atty. Rushid Jay S. Sancon, Campus Director of LSPU-Siniloan, shared the journey of LSPU and their entire OPA-Laguna Focal Teams in hosting the event. He also shared that the province of Laguna has made remarkable achievements having the most number and best FITS Centers in the region and having the Best Magsasakang Siyentista. 

Agri-Tech Forum

A forum session was conducted on the second day of the summit on the topics of cybersecurity by Alfonso Fredericko V. Gonda, Planning Officer II of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Region IV-A Cybersecurity Bureau-Digital Certificate Division; ICT for climate change by Lorrain Mae Motas, agricultural technologist from DA-Adaptation Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA); and nature, benefits, and potentials of pigmented rice by Regine Olivas.

“It is imperative to align our innovations with the requirements of our end-users,” reminded Honorio C. Flameño, Director IV of the Department of Agriculture-ICTS (DA-ICTS) during his delivery of the keynote message. He also explained how the technology has revolutionized how we communicate. 

Director Flameño pointed out some of the guiding principles in the appreciation of technology, some of which include the concepts of user-centered design, inclusivity, continuous learning, and knowledge-sharing and consultation. 

Marlon P. Tobias, Provincial Agriculturist of Laguna, explained that the conduct of the summit aims to relay to farmers and fisherfolks the emerging technologies in the field. 

“Pinagsama-sama ang pwersa ng mga ahensya na naglalayong ituro sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda ang makabagong teknolohiya na nasaliksik ng ating mga siyentista,” said Mr. Tobias. 

Dr. Robert C. Agatep, Vice President for Research Development and Extension (VPRDE) of LSPU, stated that the research and extension initiatives of the university are aimed to be shared with the community. 

“Ang Laguna State Polytechnic University po ay patuloy na nagsisikap upang makatuklas at makapagbahagi ng mga teknolohiya na mapakikinabangan po ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” Dr. Agatep said. He also extended his gratitude and excitement for co-hosting the TGP with DA-ATI. 

Forging of Partnership and Ribbon Cutting

A ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was conducted among collaborating agencies, namely, DA-ATI, LSPU, and the Province of Laguna. 

The partnership aimed at strengthening the collaboration of the agencies with stakeholders in promoting agricultural technology, information dissemination, and innovation. 

Representing the agreeing agencies were Dr. Maningas of DA-ATI, Dr. Agatep of LSPU, and Mr. Tobias of OPA-Laguna. 

Meanwhile, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was also conducted for the accomplishment report posters of various FITS centers in the Calabarzon region, headed by the same representatives. 

Awarding Ceremony

Wrapping up the three-day event was the awarding ceremony among distinguished FITS Center and Magsasaka Siyentista held at the Amazing View Mountain Resort, Mabitac, Laguna. 

Minor Awards:

Information Services Category
- FITS Center- Pila, Laguna - Best Rice Crop Manager (RCM) Implementer Award
- FITS Center- Bacoor City - Top Knowledge Products Developer Award
Technology Services Category
- FITS Center- Naic, Cavite - In-House Trainings Achievement Award 

Special Award
- Cavite Province - Accomplishments Report Award (Provincial Level)

Major Awards

Most Active Magsasaka Siyentista Award
- Gabriel Arubio
- Ma. Evita Roqueza
- Victoriano Gamboa
- Fidel Sta. Catalina 
- Edna Sanchez
- Edelissa Ramos 

Top Performing Social Media Page Award
- FITS Center- Teresa, Rizal
- FITS Center- Gen. Trias City
- FITS Center- Lucena City
- FITS Center- Indang, Cavite
- FITS Center- Taytay, Rizal
- FITS Center- Catanauan, Quezon
- FITS Center- Amadeo, Cavite
- FITS Center- Trece Martires City
- FITS Center- Sta. Cruz, Laguna
- FITS Center- Batangas City 

Best FITS Center Highlights of Accomplishments Poster 
- 1st Place: FITS Center- Gen. Trias City
- 2nd Place: FITS- OPA Cavite
- 3rd Place: FITS Center- Tanauan City

Techno Gabay Program (TGP) Excellence Award
- FITS Center- Amadeo, Cavite
- FITS Center- Bacoor City
- FITS Center- Nagcarlan, Laguna
- FITS Center- San Pablo City
- FITS Center- Tanauan City
- FITS Center- San Luis, Batangas
- FITS Center- Morong, Rizal
- FITS Center- Teresa, Rizal
- FITS Center- Candelaria, Quezon
- FITS Center- Lucena City

The TGP Summit is set to be hosted by the Quezon Province next year. 

LSPU Information Office
The Baybay Granary
DA-ATI Calabarzon