NIA Central Office - The Association of the Regional Directors and Operations Managers of the Philippines (ARDOMA), Inc. held its conference in Ilocos Norte, Region I on February 23-26, 2023. The four-day activity was commenced by a meeting conducted at the Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. The highlight of the conference was the visit made by the ARDOMA, Inc. led by its President, Engr. Jimmy Apostol, to the Municipality of Piddig, Ilocos Norte. No other than the former chief executive of Piddig, currently, the NIA Acting Administrator, Engr. Eduardo Eddie G. Guillen, toured the group and unraveled the humble beginnings of their municipality.
Piddig, Ilocos Norte, a third-class municipality is nestled along a foothill offering panoramic views of fields and mountains. A once sleepy town known too as the historic town of Basi (sugar cane wine) revolt, Piddig was conferred recognition as Galing Pook Awardee at the Malacañang Palace, last November 22, 2022, a prestigious award of the country’s top performing local government units.
With no industry player to stir the economy, the town of Piddig was able to reduce its poverty incidence from 30% in 2010 to 5.59% for 2022. Engr. Eduardo Eddie G. Guillen championed several programs anchored on improving the lives of the farmers and aiming for inclusive and sustainable agricultural development. The National Convergence Project resulted to a flood control facility by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), rice processing center, and farm machines and equipment by the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Greening Program for coffee production by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). These all benefitted small holder farmers.
Engr. Guillen established the Revenue Generation and Land Administration (REGALA) System which intends to institutionalize the digital use of technology to identify the needed development of agricultural lands. The said system can be utilized by the Agency, cascading its benefits to the NIA field offices. Engr. Guillen further urges the Institutional Development Officers to help the farmers organize themselves to cooperatives. The cooperative will cater to assist farmers with their produce especially when palay is bought cheaper in the market.
Lauded for his outstanding work and unceasing commitment to improve the quality of life of tobacco growers, the former Mayor, encourage farmers to venture into tobacco farming and subsidize their capital input. Tobaco farmers are now earning P50,000.00 to P70,000.00 per hectare for their tobacco produce. Another breakthrough in agri-business development, the ARDOMA, Inc. were introduced with Piddig Wagyu Cross and Branded Beef Development Program, the program aims to upgrade the native cows in Ilocos Region through artificial insemination of Wagyu semen. Wagyu is the most sought after and luxurious meat in the world.
ARDOMA Inc, were privileged to witness that Piddig stands proud as the only town in the Ilocos Norte with its own radio station, DWCI broadcasting as 105.1 Adjo FM. Registered on Radio Pilipinas Broadcasting, the station is use to report missing people and things. During the pandemic, it was being utilized for distant learning.
Officials and members of the ARDOMA Inc were given the chance to meet and greet the eldest son of the President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the First District Representative of the Province of Ilocos Norte, Hon. Ferdinand Alexander Araneta Marcos III. The latter accentuated the group to give their committed support on the ideals of the NIA Administrator.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc also welcomed the ARDOMA Inc. and acknowledged the dynamic leadership of the NIA Administrator. ARDOMA Inc were encourage to hand their pillar of support to Engr. Eddie Eduado G. Guillen.
Faced with the challenge to impart knowledge gained on their respective offices, the ARDOMA Inc., extended their deepest gratitude to one of their greatest mentor on agricultural development, NIA Acting Administrator Engr. Eduardo Eddie G. Guillen.
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EDEN VICTORIA C. SELVA
Department Manager A
NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff
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