By Sally Villasis
Aklan State University
The Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources, Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) opened its Farmers Information and Technology Service (FITS) Center on November 19, 2010 at the Manuel C. Peralta Community Center at Poblacion, New Washington, Aklan.
The launching is in conjunction with the Blessing and Inauguration of Manuel C. Peralta Community Center, where the Municipal Library and FITS Center are housed. The community center was inaugurated in honor of the former New Washington Vice Mayor Manuel C. Peralta.
New Washington Mayor Atty. Edgar R. Peralta and Dr. Anna Mae C. Relingo, the Regional Techno Gabay Program Coordinator, who also represented WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Edward Idemne and UPV Chancellor and RRDCC Chair Minda Formacion highlighted the launching and the unveiling of FITS billboard to formally open to the public the farmers’ center.
Mayor Peralta expressed his heartfelt appreciation to WESVARRDEC, and its partner member institutions for initiating the project. Likewise, he stressed that the LGU-New Washington is conceptualizing other facilities that would enhance the community center.
Dr. Relingo presented the Techno Gabay Program and the roles of each partner institution, followed by the Signing of Memorandum of Agreement.
The activities were witnessed by some 140 participants composed of Municipal officials; employees from the Municipal Agriculture Office; officials from the 16 barangays of New Washington; Altavas FITS Manager and TSS; farmers; fisherfolks; key officials and staff of ASU College of Fisheries and Marine Sciences headed by its Executive Director, Dr. Danilo E. Abayon; DepEd teachers and students; and ASU-Techno Gabay Team headed by Dr. Clyde G. Abayon.
The Office of the President of ASU was represented by the Vice-President for Research and Extension, Dr. Roberto L. Saladar, who conveyed the full support of the University to the Municipal Government of New Washington. Saladar extended the appreciation of the University President for LGU New Washington in recognizing the role the University in the development of the municipality.
He emphasized that the occasion is a symbolic manifestation of leadership of former Vice Mayor Manuel C. Peralta, whose wisdom, legacy, discipline and education that he wanted to impart was carried on through this information center.
The FITS Center will be the source of information and technology services that will help farmers, fisherfolks, entrepreneurs, students and other clients in enhancing their products and technology. It is a service delivery system which will provide accessibility and availability of information from experts to farmers and vice-versa.