TACLOBAN CITY-One ambulant vendor of peanut butter and fruits, and two medical interns of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) who were inside the DA-Regional Office 8 compound to seek help in getting technical assistance and information regarding rural urban and backyard gardening were among the first three clients served right away by the newly launched “Malasakit Help Desk (MHD)” put up at the DA-Regional Office, Kanhuraw Hill, Tacloban City.
Senior citizen Silving Abarquez of Sagkahan District, Tacloban City, along with two young medical interns Heide Batula and Mafil Calamay of Palo and Tacloban City, respectively, who are presently conducting an immersion activity at the Habitat Village, a resettlement area located in Brgy. Tagpuro, this city, promptly got the assistance they sought from the office.
Coincidentally, they came in while the Malasakit Help Desk is being inaugurated and launched on Monday(February 18) in line with Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol’s mandate to replicate similar center in the different DA-Regional Offices nationwide.
It may be recalled that on Valentine’s Day (February 14), DA top officials led by Secretary Manny F. Piñol spearheaded the launching of the Malasakit Help Desk at the DA Central Office.
Accordingly, the Help Desk will serve as an integrated window for selected services not only of the DA, but also of its bureaus, attached agencies and corporations.
DA-8’s Regional Executive Director Milo delos Reyes, who is on official travel, has been well-represented by no less than the two Assistant Regional Directors Elvira C. Torres and Andrew T. Orais who both explained that today’s launching of MHD in the region was in response also of RED delos Reyes “who urged us to immediately put up the said Malasakit Center within the vicinity of the DA-RFO 8.”
The said help desk complements the Public Assistance Center already established in all DA offices as mandated under Republic Act 9485 otherwise known as the “Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.” Thus, to be easily accessible, the Help Desk has been set up at the ground floor of the DA-Regional Office 8 Main Building, just near to the DA-8 Library and the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (Rafis).
According to Atty. Wilfredo Pascua, assistant chief of the Admin and Finance Division, like what DA Central Office is doing, the MHD will initially provide access to agri-fishery information and data, registration and accreditation; agri-fishery profiling and validation; access to development interventions consisting of credit facilities, crop insurance, including scholarships, trainings and seminars, as well as possible employment opportunities and many more.
Through the Help Desk, farmers, fisherfolk, and other agriculture stakeholders can easily avail of the services offered by the Department. It is expected that the establishment of this Help Desk could ease-up the doing of business in the regional office, and bring the government closer to the people as envisioned by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte. (PR)