OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, JUNE 28, 2020 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) strengthened their collaboration to extend government assistance for tribal communities or Indigenous Peoples (IPs) across the country through DA programs and projects such as the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar and NCIP Chair Allen Capuyan signed on June 12 a Joint Special Order (JSO) creating a National Steering Committee and Technical Working Group to institutionalize agri-fisheries collaboration between the two agencies for the benefit of indigenous communities.
The said JSO aims to solidify DA-NCIP collaboration, alignment, and coordination of different programs intended for the development of IPs and their ancestral domains. Programs will focus on developing agriculture and fisheries within tribal communities across the country.
According to a SAAD’s report (Canlas, 2020) published on June 16, the SAAD program has provided agriculture and fishery livelihood support to indigenous communities since 2017. Furthermore, out of 70,934 farmer-beneficiaries of the program in the poorest 30 provinces of the country, 17,673 from 18 provinces belong to the IP groups as of December 2019.
In support of the DA-NCIP collaboration, DA-SAAD Region 4B commenced the distribution of agriculture interventions to various indigenous groups across the province of Occidental Mindoro (Occ Min). The different Mangyan tribes reached by the SAAD Program include the Buhid in Rizal; Iraya in Paluan; Abra de Ilog and Ratagnon in Magsaysay.
Buhid tribe in Rizal
On June 23, 2020, two groups of native Buhid in Sitio Albunan and Sitio Natob in Brgy. Manoot in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro received assorted planting materials from DA-SAAD MiMaRoPa as part of the program’s effort to alleviate IP farmers out of poverty.
Eleven members of “Mamamayang Kabalikat sa Pangangalaga ng Kagubatan” o MAKAPAKA in Sitio Natob and 22 members of “Samahan ng mga Katutubong Buhid Sitio Albunan” in Sitio Albunan received agricultural assistance from the government worth Php 507,000.00.
SAAD Area Coordinator in Rizal, Mr. Mario S. Paz, Jr., distributed 150 kilograms (kgs) of white ginger root, 150 kgs of turmeric (luyang dilaw), 50 kgs of monggo seeds, and 99 packets of assorted vegetable seeds to the group in Sitio Natob. Meanwhile, 50 kgs of monggo seeds and 198 packets of assorted vegetable seeds were turned over to the group in Sitio Albunan. The distribution was facilitated by the NCIP, Provincial Government Office Representative/Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict Coordinator, APCO, and SAAD Region 4B.
Juanito Opig, MAKAPAKA chairperson, thanked the government for the planting materials given to them. “Marami pong salamat sa aming natanggap galing sa DA- SAAD na mga luya na aming magiging produkto at aming isusulong sa aming pagtatrabaho at maaring makatulong sa aming kahirapan,” shared Mr. Opig.
Meanwhile, assorted vegetable seeds were turned-over to the Mababang Paaralan ng Albunan (Albunan Elementary School). Mr. Bobby de Sales, Head Teacher III of the said school, received the seeds that will be planted in the schoolyard. According to Mr. de Sales, the vegetable harvests will be used in the school’s feeding program to provide nutritious food, which aims to reduce the incidence of malnutrition in the community.
Iraya in Abra de Ilog
One hundred farmer-beneficiaries from 6 farmer-associations belonging to the native Iraya-Mangyan community in Brgy. Balao, Abra de Ilog received rice seeds from SAAD 2020 budget worth Php 352,600.00 on June 17, 2020. The turn-over was facilitated by the Municipal Agriculture Office staff, Abra de Ilog Local Government Unit (LGU), and SAAD Area Coordinators.
A total of 232 bags of NSIC Rc160 (Tubigan 14) and PSB Rc18 (Ala) certified rice seeds were granted to the Golden Rice Growers Association (17 members), Magsasakang Matiyaga Farmers’ Association (15 members), Arangkada Palayan Farmers’ Association (17 members), Patubig sa Bukid Farmers’ Association (15 members), Isulong ang Maunlad na Palayan Farmers’ Association (21 members), and Patubigan Farmers’ Association (15 members). A bag has a capacity of 40 kgs that is good enough to cover a one-hectare land. The rice seeds will be grown during the wet season in rainfed areas.
The chairperson of each group: Mr. Zaldy Balanza of Golden Rice Growers Association, Mr. Ody Canuyan of Magsasakang Matiyaga Farmers’ Association, Mr. Herbacio Agustin of Arangkada Palayan Farmers’ Association, Mr. Ismael Panalasagan of Patubig sa Bukid Farmers’ Association, Mr. Nilo Panaligan of Patubigan Farmers’ Association, and Mr. Erick Sinigmayon of Isulong ang Maunlad na Palayan Farmers’ Association expressed their appreciation for the rice seeds provided to the members of their respective organizations.
“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa DA-SAAD sa mga subsidiyang binhi. Nawa’y patuloy pa ang suporta ng programa para sa aming mga magsasaka,” shared Mr. Sinigmayon.
Ratagnon tribe in Magsaysay
DA-SAAD Region 4B turned-over 100 bags of white corn seeds to Samahang Ratagnon of Sitio Bamban with members belonging to Ratagnon community in Sitio Bamban, Brgy. San Nicolas, Magsaysay led by the barangay LGU.
Each member of the group received a sack of corn seeds weighing 20 kgs that will provide food, income, and source of planting materials. The Corn Production Project in Sitio Bamban has a total value of Php 159,800 with funds from the 2020 budget.
BLGU Chairperson, Mr. Magbanua is thankful to SAAD because the corn seeds provided to them will sustain their cropping needs. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa programang SAAD at nabigyan ang mga miyembro ng aming samahan ng mga binhi ng mais. Nagsipag ang mga miyembro ng aming samahan na mag-kaingin at magtanim ng binhi ng mais. Bagama’t nag-uulan na ay ihahabol pa rin ang pagtatanim. Natanggap ng lahat ng member ang lahat ng binhi ng mais,” said Magbanua.
Iraya-Mangyan in Paluan
Members of another Mangyan indigenous community in the town of Paluan, the Iraya, have also received assorted vegetable seeds amounting to Php 36,000.00 from DA-SAAD Region 4B under Vegetable Production project of SAAD 2020 budget. Jhonzell Panganiban (SAAD Area Coordinator in Paluan) and Emmanuel Ochavez (Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture [RSBSA] validator) led the distribution of seeds of eggplant, okra, pole sitao, upo, siling panigang, patola, kangkong and ampalaya to members of Veggie-Harrison Farmer’s Association in Sitio Hinugasan, Brgy. Harrison, Paluan. The association led by its chairperson, Ms. Apple Gatmaitan has 40 women-farmers.
“Salamat po sa DA SAAD sa iba’t ibang uri ng buto ng gulay na ibinigay sa amin. Ang mga ito po ay makatutulong sa aming pangaraw-araw na konsumo at pwede rin po namin itong pagkakitaan. Ang iba pong maaaning gulay ay aming ibibigay sa Sitio Hinugasan Elementary School upang mabawasan ang bilang ng mga batang malnourished dito sa aming komunidad,” said Ms. Gatmaitan.
Members of the Veggie-Harrison Farmer’s Association will do the traditional “bayanihan” in planting vegetables in a one-hectare land in the community, conventionally known as community gardening. The yields will be sold among the residents in the community and the public market in Paluan. Their harvest is expected to provide extra income for the families. Other portions will be shared to Sitio Hinugasan Elementary School for the feeding program, initiated by the Veggie-Harrison Farmer’s Association.
Meanwhile, Mr. Alex Reyes, another Iraya-Mangyan and Chairperson of Sitio Hinugasan Cassava Planters’ Association in Brgy. Harrison, Paluan expressed his gratitude to the government for the assistance provided to the marginalized farmers, especially cassava growers in his community. “Maganda po ang programa ng SAAD, nakakatulong po talaga sa mahihirap, Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa mga binigay nila katulad ng kalabaw, mga makinarya, mga butong pananim, at marami pang iba. Ang lahat ng iyon ay hindi naming kayang bilhin, ngunit sa tulong po ng DA-SAAD ay naging posible po sa amin. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa gobyerno at nagkaroon ng programa na SAAD,” said Mr. Reyes. ###
Writer: Marshall Louie Asis, DA-SAAD Information Officer
Photos by: Marshall Louie Asis, DA-SAAD Information Officer
Jhomai Canlas (SAAD Public Relations and Communications Head)
Wily Adrian Vergara, Ian Von Yadao, Jhonzell Panganiban, Vilmar Robes, Mario Paz (DA SAAD Area Coordinators)
Jouriel Tolosa (DA SAAD IT Staff)
Canlas J. 2020. DA and NCIP strengthens collaboration; SAAD with at least 17,000 IP beneficiaries. SAAD Press Releases. Retrieved from http://saad.da.gov.ph/2020/06/da-and-ncip-strengthens-collaboration/
Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791 Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board Contact | Follow @da.saadprogram