PRDP implementers trained on geomapping to ensure transparency
To level up knowledge of implementers of Department of Agriculture (DA) programs and projects in CAR from geotagging to geo-mapping, the I-PLAN Component of the DA Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) conducted a training on geo-mapping through the use of Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) software.
The participants, composed of implementers from the local government units in CAR together with some regular staff from the DA Regional Field Office CAR and PRDP Regional Project Coordinating Office (RPCO), were able to gain knowledge on the concepts of Geographic Information System (GIS) which allows them to create maps for a more efficient decision making.
According to Arnel Gagujas, Planning Specialist of PRDP RPCO CAR, the PRDP uses GIS in planning, monitoring, evaluating and implementating subprojects and that GIS particularly monitors the quality of work, delivery of goods, the compliance to the SES, among other things.
“One of the objectives of this training is to capacitate all participants on the technical skills about the open source GIS, to enable them to gain knowledge on the application and use of GIS and to create GIS generated maps,” he said.
Stephen Mangupag, GIS Data Officer of the Geomapping and Governance Unit of the PRDP’s National Project Coordinating Office (NPCO) and resource speaker for the whole duration of the training underscored the use of Geo-mapping to ensure transparency as well as monitoring and evaluation results of every subprojects under the PRDP.
Mangupag said that this tool makes sure that all subprojects are implemented in the right location. He added that geomapping allows project implementers to virtually see the location of subrojects as well as monitor current status and updates of every project anytime since it is available online.
For the subproject approving bodies, geomapping is one of the ways of determining whether or not subproject proposals match up with PRDP’s criteria. Generated maps can also tell whether subprojects are implemented properly and are therefore used as basis for project cancellation, deferment or redesigning.
“GIS maps will show where subprojects are located and whether it will reach the production areas of priority commodities per area, otherwise the subproject will not be approved,” he said.
Mangupag added that the use of this system is from project identification, implementation, completion, and beyond.
This tool has done its job well in terms of transparency. “This tool allowed the government to save around P2.7 million pesos because generated maps have determined that some subprojects are funded by other agencies and are therefore rejected,” Mangupag said. Accordingly, some subproject proposals were discovered to have been proposed under other funding agencies or are already funded through this tool.
At the end of the training, Gagujas reiterated that PRDP implementers need this training because monthly reports with geo-tagged photos imbeded in geo-maps are required. On the other hand, regular DA staff and provincial agricultural technicians benefit from this training through knoweldge gained on how to map out agricultural patterns such as area of farmland, vulnerability and suitability of crops among others, he said. (Mabel Zabala, RPCO-CAR InfoACE Unit)