Advancing Collectively Toward a Common Goal

In terms of wealth of resources, industrial and agricultural development, the Southern Tagalog Region exemplifies its potential for expansion and advancement. With a large number of researchers and technicians with expertise in the farming industry, environmental issues, and natural assets as well as various corporate and public institutions, including universities and state colleges and R&D agencies are also situated throughout the region.

To support economically viable agro-industrial growth in the locality, the Southern Tagalog Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (STARRDEC) was formed on May 3, 1988. University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) served as its headquarters up until 2007, when the consortium's management was delegated from UPLB to Cavite State University (CvSU). In December 2015, the consortium's name changed to the Southern Tagalog Agriculture, Aquatic, and Resources Research, Development, and Extension Consortium (STAARRDEC).

Over 30 years after it was founded, the consortium presently comprises of 24 Consortium Member Institutions (CMIs), including DA-ATI CALABARZON. STAARRDEC continues to establish regional R&D priorities throughout time, including budgetary allocations for certain projects of member agencies; Coordinate the planning and implementation of integrated regional research and development programs and related activities in agriculture, aquaculture, the environment, and natural resources; Create plans for raising money for research and development (RD&E), creating RD&E resources, and conducting regionally-focused research management; Create strategies for the efficient use of RD&E, which will lead to job creation and boost regional economic growth, and; Implement management information and applied communication programs to offer assistance, guarantee effective RD&E information dissemination, and promote their use by varied clients.

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Dr. Rolando V. Maningas, Training Center Superintendent II of DA-ATI CALABARZON, has been a member of the board of directors for several years and continues to support the objectives of STAARRDEC. In addition, last November 16, 2022, Dr. Maningas presided over the 93rd Regional Research and Development Coordination Council that was hosted by the Center at DA-ATI IV-A Training Hall in Trece Martires City. The aforementioned activity included discussions and presentations of the DLSU-Laguna and DLSU-Dasmarinas membership applications, the Strategic Plan and Proceedings, the announcement regarding the PCAARRD survey, the work and financial plan, the Consortium Report, and the Consortium Report as well as updates to the Agriculture and Fisheries Research for Development and Extension Agenda and Program (One R4DEAP) and the ATI Policy Direction.

This year, DA-ATI CALABARZON is truly fortunate as Ms. Sherylou C. Alfaro, OIC-Assistant Center Director has been designated as the Regional Technology Transfer Cluster Coordinator of STAARRDEC Secretariat, effective March 1, 2023 to March 30, 2024 under Special Order No.: PHDR-038-2023.  Ms. Alfaro will be in charge of acquiring and compiling data from CMIs on research initiatives and technologies in respect to the aforementioned role. Additionally, she will support programs for technology packaging and commercialization operations. Coordination of trainings and other initiatives connected to technology promotion and use, as well as encouraging participation from the public and private sectors and other stakeholders in the use of cutting-edge technologies for increased output and profit.

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 DA-ATI CALABARZON participated in the 117th anniversary celebration and 25th anniversary of the university last March 20, 2023, with the theme "SHINE CvSU: Tiwala at Malasakit para sa mas Maningning na CvSU!" Relative to this activity, the organization disseminated free urban agricultural materials and advertised the services of the institution. The Center showcased the products of some certified Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSAs) of DA-ATI CALABARZON.

Last May 3, 2023, Dr. Maningas together with the Management Committee of DA-ATI CALABARZON joined the STAARRDEC’s 35th anniversary with the theme "35 years of Partnerships and Innovations in the Region: Celebrating Smart Solutions in Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Sector". The celebration, which took place at CvSU assembled numerous research associations, government and funding organizations, and state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the region.

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In the above-mentioned ceremony, DA-ATI CALABARZON was honored with a plaque for its unwavering commitment and considerable contribution as an active member institution of STAARRDEC in putting its key initiatives on strategic research and development (R&D) into action. Utilizing R&D findings, establishing governance and capacity, and analyzing policy were all essential in advancing R&D in the region's agriculture, aquaculture, and natural resource sectors.

At the end of the program, Dr. Maningas was tasked with delivering the celebration's parting message. He underlined the significance of sincere cooperation in order to move forward with the enhancement of the region's agriculture and natural resources. The Center Director hopes that the consortium will continue to strengthen its partnership to provide greater services to all farmers, fishermen, researchers, and extensionists in the region.

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DA-ATI CALABARZON through Dr. Maningas and Ms. Alfaro's combined efforts as members of STAARRDEC’s management will ensure that multi-stakeholder collaborations to strengthen AF extension management in the Southern Tagalog Region will be achieved.