MARABUT, SAMAR – The top three performing implementing regional offices of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program were given commendations for their work during the program’s National 1st Quarterly Assessment on April 24 to 27, 2018 in Caluwayan Palm Island Resort and Restaurant, Marabut, Samar.
DA – Regional Field Office VIII, which hosted the event, ranked first in SAAD’s top performing regions with 59% obligation rate (obligated amount as of March 31, 2018 vs. total FY2018 Regional Allotment) along with new implementing regions – DA-RFO XI at 55% and DA-RFO V at 45%. DA-RFO VIII started implementing the SAAD Program in three Samar provinces in the year 2017. Two more provinces, Leyte and Southern Leyte, were added in this year’s SAAD implementation. Meanwhile, DA-RFOs XI and V began their journey in the SAAD Program in FY 2018 with Compostela Valley, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Masbate as the SAAD provinces.
SAAD Program Director Bernadette F. San Juan praised the top three regions for their hard work. However, she encouraged all DA-SAAD implementing regions to do and perform more as she also reminded them of the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) annual cash-based budgeting system, which will start in FY 2019.
According to DBM, annual cash-based budgeting – as opposed to the traditional multi-year obligations-based budgeting – “limits incurring obligations and disbursing payments for goods delivered and services rendered, inspected, and accepted within the fiscal year”.
During the assessment
SAAD Region 8 Focal Person Dr. Andrew T. Orais was grateful that his region was chosen as the host of the event while DA-RFO VIII Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago gave out words of encouragement for the participants.
Aside from the status of FY 2018 Physical and Financial Accomplishments, each region presented their FY 2016 and FY 2017 summary of accomplishments as well. Most of the regions had problems with failed biddings that is why Dir. San Juan instructed them to get the contact information of other regions’ suppliers with successful transactions.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the DA–Planning and Monitoring Service and the Budget Division of the DA–Financial and Management Service discussed FY 2018 Budget Accountability Report guidelines and the process of realignment that would help SAAD in its implementation.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the fishery sector counterpart of DA-SAAD, presented its physical and financial outputs for FY 2017 and 2018. Harmonization between the two agencies will be made through consultative meetings.
With the objective to help the poor farmers get security for their crops, SAAD has tied up with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, with their representative providing thorough instructions on how SAAD beneficiaries can avail the insurance.
Meanwhile, Dir. San Juan also mentioned about possibilities of SAAD farmers having life and accident insurance, which will be clarified in future discussions with concerned agencies.
Not only did the participants learn and share their experiences in the assessment, they enjoyed their stay as well with DA-RFO VIII laying out a non-stressful program. They were awed with Samar and Leyte’s beauty, food, and culture.
Research studies for the SAAD Program
Dir. San Juan mentioned in the assessment that a formed Technical Working Group in the National Program Management Office will be conducting research studies that aim to assess the impact of the SAAD Program. The results of the studies can be used as the basis for continuing the program beyond 2022. ###
Writer: Jhomai S. Canlas, SAAD PR & Communications Officer