STA. MARCELA, APAYAO, PHILIPPINES—The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) National Program Management Office (NPMO) enjoins the Province of Apayao (Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)) in its 23rd Founding Anniversary during the awarding of farming machineries to the SAAD beneficiaries (celebrated this year on the 11th of February).
The event, graced with a fair weather, was led by Apayao Provincial Governor Hon. Elias “Butz” C. Bulut, Jr. and Congresswoman Hon. Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang. Also present were Municipal Mayors Hon. Rolly U. Guiang (Sta. Marcela) with his wife Mrs. Rizza Tesalona-Guiang, Hon. Hector Revel Pascua (Pudtol), Hon. Rodolfo B. Juan (Flora), and Hon. Martin Lucero Lawat (Calanasan). Providing support was Provincial Agriculturist (PA) Prudencio G. Bosing, and the DA, namely: SAAD-NPMO Operations Cluster Head, Ms. Fe E. Ybañez; Regional Executive Director (RED) for CAR Narciso A. Edillo, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) Ms. Digna Villanueva, Provincial Coordinator (PC) Warlito C. Madamba, and other SAAD NPMO, RPMSO, and PPMSO staff.
Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 interventions costing a grand total of Php 12,638,000.00 is comprised of two (2) units of rice combine harvesters and 4WD tractors; seventeen (17) multi-purpose threshers and corn shellers; and eighteen (18) units of rice and corn hand tractors. These were allocated to all seven (7) municipalities in Apayao (Calanasan, Conner, Flora, Kabugao, Luna, Pudtol, and Sta. Marcela), which are all catered by the SAAD Program since 2017.
Representative to the Lone District of Apayao Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang, emphasized that the celebration that the Yapayaos are having is not only a celebration but, along with it, is the improvement of each municipality, stressing that it is during these moments that the townspeople can show their unity. Also, to her, the vast lands of Apayao is its treasure.
According to RED Edillo, the average age of farmers is 58 years old. Ms. Ybanez, on the other hand, stressed in her speech to encourage the youth [that] there is money in farming.
RED Edillo further inspires that “we should not forget [to do] research in order to develop a technology that is suitable in Apayao.”
Governor Butz encourages the farmers towards ‘Market Tourism’ and develop a product that tourists can bring home while Hon. Rodolfo B. Juan suggests a sense of ownership on the part of the farmers.
Say-am (Isnag* for ‘Fiesta’) Apayao commemorates the province’s founding anniversary in 1995. The festivities (which includes boot, product presentations, cook fest, float, talent competitions, among other rich and colorful activities) last half a month each year from February 1-14.
Writer: Ela Arciaga, PR & Communications Officer
*Isnag – (also called Isneg) is a language spoken by around 40,000 Isnag people of Apayao Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region in the northern Philippines (wikipedia.org).