ANTIQUE, May 30, 2021 – Bugasong, a third-class municipality in Antique, is now a priority area of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
SAAD Regional Alternate Focal Person Jenny Babe Torrenueva together with some SAAD regional and provincial staff led a coordination meeting with Bugasong Mayor John Lloyd Pacete represented by his secretary Marvin Rico and Municipal Agriculturist Freddie Vista on May 27.
According to Torrenueva, they discussed and harmonized the plans for the SAAD projects.
She said the SAAD Program allotted around Php 4.9 million worth of intervention packages that are expected to be rolled out in 2022. The social preparation activities may kick off in October this year, she added.
Vista vowed to show their full support and commitment to the SAAD program.
“Willing gid kami mag-accept kang gina-propose nga [projects] kang SAAD program kay bahul gid ang benepisyo [kadya] sa atun stakeholders, especially sa mga poorest of the poor communities or barangays. (We are willing to accept the proposed projects from the SAAD program because these would be a great benefit to our stakeholders, especially the poorest of the poor communities or barangays),” Vista said.
Rico, on the other hand, was hopeful about the SAAD’s positive impact on the rural economy of Bugasong.
“Grateful man kami nga napilian ang Bugasong as one of the beneficiaries kang SAAD program. There are a lot of CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) diya sa amon banwa nga need gid ang program like SAAD nga makasuporta man sa anda nga livelihood. (The local government unit of Bugasong is grateful that our town got selected as among the beneficiaries of the SAAD program. There are a lot of Civil Society Organizations in our municipality who need government programs such as the SAAD to support the livelihood of locals),” said Rico.
Comprising 23 barangays, Bugasong is situated in Antique’s central part, about 43 kilometers away from the provincial capital (San Jose). Fishing is the primary source of income for the majority of households in this area. Poultry and livestock-raising are likewise considered an integral part of the town’s agricultural economy.
Torrenueva cited that the municipality ranked fifth in the entire Antique with 23.8% poverty rate according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Municipal/City Level Small Area Poverty Estimates for 2015.
“Bugasong would be an ideal beneficiary of agricultural intervention packages which are based on the assessed needs of our farmer-partners,” Torrenueva explained.
Being the latest addition to SAAD, more farming communities in Antique will soon avail themselves of agricultural livelihood assistance.
Since 2019, the program has been delivering livelihood projects to bolster the marginal farmers’ rice, corn, vegetable, and animal production in 7 priority municipalities in Western Visayas, namely:
1. Laua-aun, Antique
2. San Remigio, Antique
3. Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental
4. Valderrama, Antique
5. Calatrava, Negros Occidental
6. Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental
7. Toboso, Negros Occidental
The locally-funded program which aims to alleviate poverty among the marginalized sectors on agriculture and fishery is expanding its pool of recipient municipalities next year. ###
Writer: CJ Gamarcha, Information Officer – SAAD Region 6
Copy-editor: Andrea Ragot, PR and Comms Officer – SAAD NPMO