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Towards Alleviating Poverty: North Cotabato, Sarangani, Maguindanao gather in 2-day workshop on SAAD Program Implementation for 2017-2018

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SOUTH COTABATO – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development National Program Management Office (DA-SAAD NPMO) along with the DA-Regional Field Office 12 (DA-RFO 12) conducted a Planning Workshop on 2017-2018 SAAD Program Implementation at Agua Frio Garden Resort, Sta. Cruz Koronadal City, South Cotabato last February 13-14, 2017.

Several Provincial and Municipal Agriculturists, SAAD coordinators, as well as some representatives from the Provincial/Local Government Units of North Cotabato and Sarangani attended the said event, which aimed to introduce the SAAD program, to guide the provinces in drafting their SAAD budget & project proposals and action plans for the years 2017 and 2018, and to address their concerns and queries.

Cecilia Parcon, the Officer-in-Chief of the Planning Division of  DA-RFO 12, started the two-day workshop by providing the objectives of the activity along with presenting their accomplishments. Following such is SAAD NPMO Program Coordinator Ulysses Lustria Jr.’s brief presentation on the SAAD overview and implementing guidelines for 2017.

An Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) representative also presented the Program for Unified Lending to Agriculture (PUNLA), a lending facility under the Agro-Industry Modernization Credit and Financing Program (AMCFP) which caters to marginal farmers and fishermen for affordable and convenient credit loans.

After the presentations, the participants were tasked to create their target SAAD activities for the year 2017. Each province presented their draft proposals before the panelists, who included Ulysses and Cecilia along with SAAD NPMO Budgeting and Planning head Darwin Pamatmat, SAAD NPMO Operations head Kristine Eusebio, DA-Project Development Services division officer Mariam Camaso, and SAAD NPMO Program Coordinator Mae Flor Gabunales-Barol.

Representatives from Maguindanao, however, attended the second day of the event to present their draft proposals as well as to join the group discussion regarding the Special Area for Agricultural Development Program in their respective areas.

DA-RFO 12 Chief for Operations Zaldy Boloron also graced the second half of the said workshop, stating the importance of some programs, like SAAD, in improving the lives of agriculture sectors and of Philippine Agriculture as a whole.

The two-day seminar-workshop concluded with high hopes and zeal that with the help and joint effort of all the concerned parties, the Special Area for Agricultural Development will be able to bring necessary aid to the local farmers and fishermen thus alleviating poverty across the nation. ###

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