SUBIC, August 16, 2021 – To evaluate the mid-year performance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program for 2021, the national office hosted an event in Subic, Zambales from August 9 to 13.
The activity aims to discuss each SAAD region’s accomplishments, issues, and plans to further improve the program’s implementation as it approaches its culmination in 2022.
“We have to set aside the fear and focus on serving those who are in need – the farmers and fisherfolk. We only have one and a half years to go and we have to assess what we still have to do,” said SAAD Director Myer Mula to the online and onsite participants.
Financial and Physical Accomplishments
The agriculture sector has a total budget allocation of Php 1.3 billion for 2021. The National Management Program Office – Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Unit (NPMO-PME) reported that the agri-sector obligated Php 780,773,000, which is 57% of the total fund as of June 2021. The top three performers for fund obligation1 were Region 5 with 77% accomplishment, Cordillera Administrative Region with 72%, and Region 6 with 67%.
Meanwhile, the program’s disbursement2 rate is 11% or Php 152,729,000 of the total fund. Region 12 is the top performer with 35% accomplishment, followed by Region 9 with 18% and Region 5 with 14%.
Table 1. Agriculture sector’s financial performance
|SAAD OUs3||ANNUAL ALLOCATION
Aside from the financial accomplishments, SAAD also assessed the regions’ number of livelihood projects implemented and the beneficiaries provided versus the targets set in the Budget Execution Documents3 (BED).
For physical accomplishment, the program targeted to provide 504 livelihood projects to benefit 4,415 individuals and 1,275 groups this year. So far, the agri-sector already distributed 246 livelihood projects (49%) to 1,694 farmers (38%) and 733 associations (57%).
Regions 6, 9, and 5 are the top SAAD implementing units in terms of physical accomplishment.
The SAAD Program’s budget for the fishery sector reached Php 127,635,000. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) – SAAD Alternate Focal Person Arnel Valenzuela reported the program obligated 67% (Php 85,851,590) and disbursed 14% (Php 18,234,000).
Table 2. Fishery sector’s financial performance
|SAAD OUs||ANNUAL ALLOCATION
The fishery sector also targeted to provide 837 livelihood projects to 2,906 fisherfolk and 127 associations. As of June, 643 projects (77%) were already implemented covering 1,559 individuals (54%) and 16 groups (13%).
Information dissemination is a vital activity of the SAAD Program to promote transparency, influence decision-makers, and maintain credibility.
The Public Relations and Communications Unit reported that the program published 133 press releases such as news, features, and editorials, which were posted on the website and Facebook page (facebook.com/da.saadprogram).
The program also published 10 SAADvocacy newsletters, an annual report for 2020, 6 books, and two SAADventures magazines.
On August 6, DA Secretary William Dar directed all the agency’s programs to start documenting the success stories of farmer cooperatives and associations to serve as tangible proof of concept.
Although SAAD is already producing success stories published in the SAADventures magazine, Director Mula reiterated the need to widen the program’s presence by sharing its impact in hopes of extending its implementation for another 6 years.
SAAD’s online assistant, Ani the chatbot, was also launched to provide immediate response and readily available information.
Continued service despite the pandemic
The restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic hampered SAAD regions’ deliveries of interventions and other important activities. The commitment of the staff and the support of the local government units were instrumental to the program’s milestones in the 1st semester.
SAAD Deputy Director also discussed an option to procure locally through the community participation method (See SAAD to adopt community participation procurement toward participatory governance).
The SAAD regional staff will meet again from August 23 to 27 to plan and craft BEDs for 2022. ###
Writer: Jhomai S. Canlas, Head of the SAAD Public Relations and Communications Unit
1Obligation is a commitment by a government agency arising from an act of a duly authorized official which binds the government to the immediate or eventual payment of a sum of money.
2 Disbursement refers to the settlement, liquidation, or payment of an obligation incurred in the current or prior years, involving cash or non-cash transactions and covered by disbursement authorities.
4Budget Execution Documents (BEDs) are annual documents required at the onset of the budget execution phase, which contain the agencies’ targets and plans, physical as well as financial, for the current year.