QUEZON CITY, November 23, 2020 – The House Committee on Rural Development will submit a resolution to extend the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program’s implementation during its online meeting. Members of the committee have unanimously endorsed the extension of the program beyond 2022.
Congresswoman Elisa Kho (Committee chairperson) reiterated that the program should extend for another six years based on its focus on the poor farmers and fisherfolks and its accomplishments.
In his presentation, SAAD Director Myer Mula emphasized that the program contributed to poverty reduction.
A case in point was the report by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 8 on January 31, 2020, which showed that the program contributed to the poverty reduction in Eastern Visayas through its food availability, income-enriching and labor-enhancing projects.
Dir. Mula also shared SAAD’s efforts in the economic recovery of the farmers and fisherfolk affected by the CoViD-19 pandemic and the damages brought by typhoons.
During the virtual meeting, testimonials of farmers and fishers from Mountain Province, Kalinga, Samar, Masbate, Leyte, and Zamboanga del Norte whose lives were improved because of the SAAD Program were also presented.
The beneficiaries who testified are:
a) Divina Dangilan, President of Channeg Farmer’s Association in Dalican, Bontoc, Mountain Province;
b) Marjorie Palmero Ang-ang, Business Manager of Bdap Farmer’s Organization in Dupligan, Tanudan, Kalinga;
c) Maggie Muñoz, President of Cabangrayan Rice and Corn Farmer’s Association in Cabangraya, Pio V Corpuz, Masbate;
d) Melanie Mahinay, President of Hinabangan Integrated Duck Raisers Association in Rawis, Hinabangan, Samar;
e) Luzviminda Gonato, Vice President of Cansoso Livelihood Association of Workers (CLAW) in Cansoso, Pastrana, Leyte; and
f) Sunnyboy Narit Remotigue, Vice President of the Bacong Fishermen and Farmers Association in Bacong, Salug, Zamboanga del Norte.
Marjorie Ang-ang, beneficiary of the Integrated Fruit Trees, Swine, and Poultry Production Project from Dupligan, Tanudan in Kalinga, participated in the meeting and emotionally shared her SAAD story.
“I started with six chickens in 2019 and multiplied it to almost 15 times. To be selected as one of the beneficiaries of the SAAD Program is a blessing for my family. The chickens alone help provide eggs for our family and have saved us from buying eggs,” said Ms. Ang-ang.
The SAAD Program hopes for the sustainability of Ms. Ang-ang and other beneficiaries’ livelihood projects.
The possible extension of the SAAD will help ensure the sustainability of existing livelihood projects as well as increase the number of poverty stricken provinces or municipalities by intensifying its assistance on marketing and enterprise development. ###
Writer: Jennifer Valcobero, SAAD NPMO Public Relation and Comms Officer