QUEZON CITY, 9 October 2020 – The National Program Management Office (NPMO) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program had organizational restructuring to improve its management effectiveness and efficiency leading to better project implementation.
The SAAD NPMO is headed by a Director appointed by the Secretary. On October 18, 2019, Dr. Myer G. Mula continued the SAAD Program’s mission of helping marginalized farmers and fisherfolks from 30 identified poor provinces in the country to move out of poverty. He is being assisted by Deputy Director Mr. Ulysses J. Lustria, Jr. They provide overall guidance in the implementation of the program in its national, regional, and provincial offices.
From four units, the SAAD NPMO is now composed of three units [Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (PME) Unit, Public Relations (PR) and Communications (Comms) Unit, Administrative and Procurement (A and P) Unit] and one sub-unit [Information Technology (IT) and Database (DB) Sub-unit] (Figure 1).
Figure 1. SAAD NPMO Organizational Structure
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The PME Unit is the heart and soul of the program’s operations. The group ensures smooth implementation of the program in its covered provinces through planning, monitoring, and evaluation by directly coordinating with the RPMSOs’ of the agriculture sector and BFAR Central Office, which handles the SAAD’s fishery sector.
The unit prepares, reviews, and consolidates planning and budget-related documents, which are significant requirements to obtain funding from the Department of Budget and Management. They also evaluate and recommend project proposals, budgets, and proposed realignments of the program.
They are also assigned to coordinate with the Program Steering Committee through the provision of required reports, policy recommendations, etc.
Moreover, the unit will handle the monitoring of ongoing projects amid the CoViD-19 pandemic and other external affairs as well.
PR and Comms Unit
The PR and Comms Unit upholds the importance of government transparency and accountability through information dissemination.
Four NPMO PR and Comms Officers lead the Information Officers of the SAAD Regional and Provincial Program Management Support Offices (RPMSO and PPMSO) in crafting press releases as well as feature and editorial articles, which are being published on the program’s website, Facebook page, and various print publications. The articles’ scopes include every important event, activity, and positive changes of the program from the national (the implementers) to the grassroots’ level (the beneficiaries).
The unit is also responsible for the content and visual management of the program’s media channels; production of recurring and non-recurring publications, such as the SAADvocacy Newsletter, SAADventures Magazine, SAAD News Compendium, Annual Report, and other Books; production of information exchange materials, such as brochures, infographic reports, posters, flyers, etc.; and media partnership to promote the program.
A and P Unit
The A and P Unit is responsible for the management of NPMO’s administrative, human resource, records, logistics, and finance aspects.
Admin activities include the provision of assistance to the Director in terms of schedule management, review of documents prior to the Director’s appropriate action, liquidation of travel reimbursement, and dissemination of critical information to the NPMO staff; hiring and recruitment of staff for the NPMO; facilitation of incoming and outgoing documents; property management and office maintenance; maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of the NPMO; and overseeing all logistics-related activities.
On the other hand, procurement activities involve preparation of documents for NPMO’s supplies, meetings, training, workshops, and other requirements; supervision, control, and distribution of funds; and coordination with DA Financial Management Service on matters of budget and other financial requirements.
IT and DB Sub-unit
The sub-unit is responsible for all the information technology and database system management of the SAAD NPMO.
The sub-unit coordinates with the RPMSOs and PPMOs’ Information Technologists, who are responsible for the encoding of the profiles and geotags of the program’s beneficiaries. The information is stored in the SAAD National Farmers Database System, an online platform the group created.
The sub-unit will also provide support to the PME and PR and Comms Units. They will provide the information needs of the units for planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation. They will also operate and maintain the SAAD website in coordination with the PR and Comms Unit.
The modification is considered a strategic change as it will help in effective communication, increase efficiency, achieve the goals of the program based on its Logical Framework, promote faster decision-making, clarify relationships, and provide faster solutions to problems. ###
Writer: Jhomai Canlas, SAAD NPMO PR and Comms Head