DA-SAAD one step closer to extension

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, January 25, 2021 – The coverage of possible new areas and continuation of current projects are now closer to reality as government agencies supported the extension of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) from 2023 to 2028 under House Resolution (HR) 1421.

The HR 1421, which has the full title, “A Resolution Strongly Urging the House Leadership through the Committee on Rural Development to Extend the Implementation of the Department of Agriculture’s Special Area for Agricultural Development Program for Six (6) Years from 2023 to 2028”, was authored by Rep. Elisa “Olga” T. Kho of Masbate, 2nd District and chairperson of the Philippine House Committee on Rural Development (PHCRD).

The PCHRD meeting was chaired by Rep. Alfred delos Santos of Ang Probinsyano Party-List and Senior Vice-Chairperson.

Also in attendance were members of the SAAD national office led by Director Myer G. Mula, SAAD-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

The extension aimed to strengthen government efforts to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and aftermath of Typhoons Molave (“Quinta”), Goni (“Rolly”), and Vamco (“Ulysses”).

To further justify the extension, the SAAD Program will submit results of its ongoing Midterm Assessment being conducted by a third party once available.

Various testimonial videos from the SAAD regional offices were presented to the lawmakers to show the program’s benefit on its beneficiaries.

The extension of the SAAD Program was supported by the PSA, DSWD, DBM, and NEDA since it contributes to poverty reduction, sustainable food production and inclusive growth as it covers the country’s most marginalized areas, including communities of Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

The request for extension includes the creation of coterminous positions, procurement of motor vehicles for project monitoring and evaluation purposes, and provision of incentives to LGUs.

The Committee culminated the hearing by agreeing to create a Technical Working Group to further refine the resolution.###

Writer: Ian Kevin M. Sevilla, Technical and Special Concerns Officer, SAAD NPMO