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Four things to expect in SAAD’s 1st Assessment this April 2018

The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Regional Field Office (RFO) VIII will be hosting this year’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program’s 1st Quarter Assessment (QA) on April 24 to 27. Here are four things to expect in this four-day event:

  1. ENGAGING ENVIRONMENT + AWESOME VIEWS! DA-RFO VIII strategically located SAAD’s 1st QA of 2018 in an environment helpful for the holistic well-being of individuals present at the event. It will be conducted at Caluwayan Palm Island Resort & Restaurant on April 24-27, 2018, which will be participated in by some 130 staff and implementers from all SAAD Program areas in the country.

 Caluwayan Palm Island Resort & Restaurant is located at Barangay Caluwayan, Marabut, Samar.  It can be reached by car – a 45–minute drive from Tacloban City. The resort can also be reached directly by boat from Tacloban City wharf.

For sure, discussions in the assessment event would be intense that is why the place would be an ideal fit to balance work and mental repose.

The place is an ideal ecotourism-oriented resort designed to fit as a perfect alternative place of relaxation, being surrounded by a breathtaking view of towering rock islands and islets with secluded coves and coral gardens, truly a paradise for work and play. The resort also offers possibilities for island hopping, rock climbing, other aqua sports activities, and sightseeing.

Caluwayan Palm Island Resort & Restaurant can be reached at +63977-345-5692 or at caluwayan@gmail.com. Participants can also contact DA-RFO VIII at +63917-309-4966 for inquiries and concerns.

  1. MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS. Participants shall expect concentrated and significant discussions for the SAAD Program in its upcoming 1st QA.

The status of each SAAD regional implementing unit’s financial and physical accomplishments for the year 2018 will be presented as well as their achievements for fiscal years 2016 & 2017 and their catch-up plans.

DA’s counterpart in the SAAD implementation, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, will also be there to share the highlights of their performance for the years 2018 and 2017. Harmonization of activities of both SAAD implementing agencies will also be a main concern in the discussions.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation will be attending SAAD’s 1st QA to relay information and ways on how SAAD beneficiaries can avail crop insurance.

Other discussions will revolve around SAAD beneficiaries’ database and the FY 2018 Budget Accountability Report guidelines.

  1. A TIME TO APPRECIATE THE VAST CULTURE IN SAMAR AND LEYTE. Going to the venue, participants will pass through the famous picturesque San Juanico Bridge that connects Leyte and Samar; and the ancient town of Basey, which is famous for its unique cave and woven mat (banig). In fact, Samar has been dubbed as the “Caving Capital of the Philippines” as many international spelunkers have been drawn with its amazing caves.

Since it is just 45-minute away from Tacloban City, Leyte, there can also be a time to give prayers to those who passed away during the Typhoon Yolanda at shrines and memorials erected within the area.

Samar and Leyte are also famous for delicacies, such as moron and binagol. Also found there are Spanish-era biscuits like the corioso, roscas, podrida and pasalubong favorites like hopia de pili and delicias de pili.

  1. Last but not the least, ABUNDANT AGRI AND FISHERY RESOURCES. As an agricultural province, Samar is abundant in crops such as coconut, palay, corn, cassava, camote (sweet potato), gabi (purple yam), and pineapple – which visitors could enjoy and delight in.

Samar is also the second major fishing-producing province in the region. Smoked fish (tinapa) and mussel (tahong) are among its major industries. ###

Writer: Jhomai Canlas, SAAD PR & Communications Officer

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