EASTERN VISAYAS—One vital component of any program or project, is regular dialogue with implementers and other stakeholders to help keep abreast with what is happening at ground level, and inform management about issues and concerns besetting every aspect of implementation. With early detection of these impediments, strategic interventions could be employed to solve them, thereby effecting smooth implementation of the project activities, in this case, for the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
At the recently–concluded series of Consultation Meetings with Municipal Agriculturists (MAs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for the three (3) Samar provinces, and Leyte and Southern Leyte held at Casa Anson, Tacloban City on 17–18 and 22 May 2018, issues and concerns in projects implementation surfaced. Recommendations were proffered, and steps taken to solve the problems were discussed during the free–wheeling dialogue for the participants to interact with.
Operational bottlenecks commonly cited by both program and Local Government Unit (LGU) personnel of the five (5) provinces where SAAD Program is being implemented were late or no delivery of inputs which caused delays in project implementation.
Exacerbating factors mentioned were hauling cost, inclement weather, delinquent suppliers, funds still with the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU), etc. Actions taken were close coordination and follow–up with concerned individuals (suppliers, LGUs, R/PPMSO) to facilitate distribution and delivery of these inputs.
There was also reported political interference in some provinces, such as in choice of beneficiaries of equipment/machinery. Change in PLGU administration in 2016 also caused delay in processing of documents.
It was recommended that SAAD personnel team up with MAs to appeal to Local Chief Executives, convincing them that aforesaid common service facilities are meant originally for the ‘poorest of the poor’ farmers who will benefit immensely from their use.
Administrative matters, like absence of Provincial Coordinators (PCs) in Leyte and Samar, resource persons for trainings, provision of incentives or honoraria, and processing of Purchase Request (PR) documents, were also given equal attention. Suggestions were considered during the open forum and agreements reached on how to address these challenges.
At the end of each session, participants went back to their respective stations feeling relieved because management and the implementers themselves cooperated and exhausted all efforts to find solutions to problems at hand. Likewise, the activity was an opportune time to air their doubts and reservations about the program, re–establish bonds, and become familiar with all SAAD implementers.
As an aside, an acrostic appeared at the conclusion of University of Eastern Philippines’s report regarding trainings conducted. It says:
S – Suporta nga dako
A – Aton pauswagon
A – Atamanun ngan tagan
D – Dungog
Roughly translated, the word play implies, “Let’s build up on, cultivate, and give distinction to this huge support (from the government). ###
Writer: Jeanrose G. Basilan, Provincial Coordinator, PPMSO–Eastern Samar
Copy Editor: Ela Arciaga, SAAD NPMO PR & Communications Officer
Originally published on Peryodikit – May News Round-Up (Issue No. VI, Volume No. II Series of 2018), Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development Program (DA-SAAD) Regional Field Office VIII Official Publication