Saint Bernard Holds Face-to-Face SOA Graduation with 301 Completers

Fri, 11/17/2023 - 15:29
Saint Bernard participants from Brgy. Panian
Saint Bernard participants from Brgy. Panian with guests: (from Left) Mr. Raydon Balasico, Hon. Edito Mulig, Ms. Erma Capilitan, Mr. Bethel John Sinon

SAINT BERNARD, Southern Leyte – After an online graduation on November 10, 2023, streamed live via Facebook, the municipality of Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte conducted a face-to-face graduation for its three hundred and one (301) graduates of the School-on-the-Air on Smart Rice Agriculture on November 13, 2023, at the Saint Bernard Municipal Gym.

The LGU – Saint Bernard Municiapla Agriculture Office headed by MA Ms. Erma Capilitan, brought together students from 10 participating barangays in the municipality who attended the 3-month hybrid learning setup through radio broadcast and face-to-face activities.

During the program, participants from barangays Mahayahay, Bolodbolod, Nueva Esperanza, Mahayag, Atuyan, Catmon, Cabagawan, San Isidro, and Panian showcased their different talents through singing and dancing. Surprise quiz questions also tested the graduates on their learnings from the program. Various prizes were given to those who answered correctly.

Municipal Mayor, Hon. Edito Mulig, graced the activity and showed support for the graduates. He couldn’t contain his joy knowing that one of Saint Bernard’s graduates is part of the top students of the 2,244 SOA-SRA graduates regionwide. As the mayor, he expressed his support for the continuous efforts and initiatives of the municipality’s Council for Agriculture and MAO. He further explained the municipality's efforts to improve irrigation in farm areas in the locality.

Representing ATI-RTC 8, Mr. Bethel John Sinon, MPS II of the Information Services Section, expressed the Center’s gratitude to the facilitators who have painstakingly provided their utmost efforts for the success of the program. He emphasized the MAO’s willingness to host various ATI-RTC 8 activities in the municipality, such as the Digital Farmers Program, RCM Advisory Services, 4-H Club initiatives, and most importantly, the conduct of the SOA-SRA.

Graduate and SOA-SRA overall Top 4 student, Ligenard Estorba, expressed his thanks for completing the 3-month program. He thanked the facilitators and the LGU. “The SOA-SRA was a big help to us farmers since it provided us with knowledge and skills about the new technologies in rice farming,” he shared. Additionally, Joan Marie Cabilan, a graduate and a young farmer from Brgy. Panian, shared what makes the program very important for her as a young person in agriculture, “Since we are the ones following the steps of our aging farmer parents, we are now managing their farms.” Being new to the field of rice production, Joan admits that they have limited knowledge on the topic as she and her co-youth participants are more inclined to vegetable production. “The program provided us with important knowledge on rice production. I was amazed to learn that only a few plants were sown in a hectare only to find out that there is a certain scale that must be followed in production.”

Closing the ceremony, MA Ms. Erma Capilitan was thankful for the success of the program and congratulated not only the graduates but also the efforts of her team of SOA facilitators coming from the MAO. She hopes to strengthen the MAO’s support to capacitate and provide agri-related services to their constituents to improve the agricultural sector of the municipality.

The SOA-SRA is one of the modalities of ATI in the provision of agri-related information to farmers and agriculture enthusiasts. Saint Bernard is one of the many municipalities participating in this year's SOA-SRA, together with counterparts in Northern Samar and areas in Southern Leyte.