TABUK CITY, Kalinga- The Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Bantay is the region’s nominee for the national level search for Outstanding RIC along with three other prospects from other regions of the country.
The award is given by Department of Agriculture (DA) to recognize the vital contributions of the RICs in agricultural and rural improvement to sustain their enthusiasm in the development efforts.
In her message, chairman Dr. Gina Nilo of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) said that the RIC serves as channel for developing women’s leadership and potential towards home and community improvement.
Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Julie Aclam also encouraged the club members to continuously discover their strengths and use their skills to influence good leadership in the community.
Aclam also clarified that the RIC is not only focused on food production but more importantly on making its members become a model or leader in the community.
‘’Our group is directed toward one goal. We perform our role as women and as community members and we are united in doing any activity such as our income-generating projects which include food processing and the Shavcer’s Gap farm,’’ club president Evangeline Sacki said when asked about the strengths of the group.
Apart from being involved in community activities and several seminars and trainings, Sacki considered organic farming as their best practice. She said that all vegetables and fruits produced in their farm are all organically-grown.
Meanwhile, the establishment of a tablea processing building amounting to P665,000 funded by DA and the acquisition of cacao roasting machine for their chocolate processing business from the regional office of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the amount of P665,000 are some of Sacki’s notable accomplishments in her five years as the club president.
The group also maintains a 3.5 hectare farm planted with fruit-bearing trees, corn and vegetables.
Along with Nilo, the panel of national evaluators also include vice chair Dr. Josephine Aben of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and members Rosalinda Banayag and Althea Defresta- also of the ATI and Aurora Manalang of BSWM.
Other national nominees for the Most Outstanding RIC are Villa C. Sudiacal RIC (Liloy, Zambaoanga del Norte), Sto. Domingo RIC(Alicia, Isabela) and Inakaran RIC (Bulan, Sorsogon).
The criteria in selecting this year’s national winner are Organizational Management (for the last three years) – 45%, Economic Activities/Performance – 35% and Social Activities/Community Service- 25%.
The national winner shall receive P300, 000.00 project grant and P50,000.00 cash.
Regional winners will be validated within the month of August before the national awarding ceremony tentatively scheduled on October 27, 2017 at the Malacañang Palace.
By Darwin S. Serion