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Brick by brick, building dreams with SAAD: Anne Sacro’s story

APAYAO, June 25, 2021 – Vegetable Production Project beneficiary, Anne Sacro, having built her own house through farming, inspires Iyapayao farmers to persevere and stay determined while cultivating state-sponsored agricultural projects.

In the battle against poverty, Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of motivation by Ryan and Deci states that humans have innate desires for self-development to achieve certain goals. Self-determination takes direct action that will result in real change and a sense of belonging to other people to foster personal growth.

Forty-nine-year-old Anne, a beneficiary of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program, tends to be driven by a need to grow and gain fulfillment over challenges of poverty to develop her family’s living standard towards greater progress.

Following Anne Sacro’s Journey

According to the 2018 report of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) on the state of poverty in the Philippines, a family of five having an income of Php 5,485 a month is considered part of the vulnerable sector.

Anne, a mother of four, is married to 56-year-old farmer Rolando Sacro. She works multiple jobs to support and feed her family. She earns Php 300 offering laundry labor twice a week and gets paid Php 350 as an on-call tailor.

She also works as a farm laborer and gets paid Php 250 every week, which allows her to earn at least Php 1,000 per cropping season with farm work lasting for a month. Anne shared that in reduced circumstances, her family only eats twice a day.

“Dimakel nak nga narigat iti biyag mi ngem iti han pulos kaya iti riknak ket tay makitak nga haan nga makapangan iti ustu iti annak ko nga uppat,” said Anne.

[I grew up not knowing what life is beyond poverty. Witnessing my four children being deprived of their basic needs motivates me to further persevere for a better life.]

With her modest income, Anne shared that her family couldn’t afford a decent house to live in.

Bahay kubo lang idi ti balay mi, kanayun kam sireken ti danum nu kasta nga agtudu. Ngem gapo iti gaget kin tulong iti programa ti SAAD, nakitak idi namnama.”

[Previously, our house was a nipa hut. We used to experience flooding inside our house due to natural hazards caused by typhoons.]

In 2015, Anne and her husband engaged in rice cultivation in a 3-hectare (ha) farm as a tenant. According to Anne, they are getting paid at least Php 20,000 as net income twice a year – from dry season to wet season.

“Bilang maysa nga ina, pamilyak iti pagal-alak iti inspirasyon ko isu nga ar aramidek amin a kabaelak,” Anne shared.

[As a mother, I am driven to work hard to provide for the needs of my children.]

In 2019, SAAD Program was launched in the municipality and tapped the Upstream Livelihood Farmers’ Association where Anne is an active member.

The association received livelihood production projects on rice, corn, buffalo, sheep, poultry, and fruit trees.

SAAD program in providing livelihood assistance

Upstream Livelihood Farmers’ Association (FA) is a clustered group composed of five barangays – Dagupan, Shalom, Bacsay, San Gregorio, and Salvacion.

In June 2019, the group with 158 members received shared 5 units of rain shelter and farm tools in support of their Vegetable Production Project, which cost Php 613,700.00.

The project consisted of rain shelters, knapsack sprayer, shovels, and seedling trays.

Since the association is composed of clustered Barangays, the units of rain shelter were provided to every Barangays to cater to beneficiaries from their residential areas; 2 units of rain shelter in Brgy. Shalom, 1 unit of rain shelter in Brgy. San Gregorio, 1 unit of rain shelter in Brgy. Salvacion, and 1 shared unit of rain shelter in Brgy. Bacsay.

The members noticed a significant improvement in vegetable farming utilizing the rain shelter for their seedlings during the growing stage.

Table 1. Upstream Livelihood FA SAAD Project Intervention

Sales acquired from selling vegetable harvests

After the project implementation, Anne initiated propagating vegetable seedlings in the rain shelter.

She used her 5,000 square meters area for vegetable production, where she cultivated tomato, eggplant, bitter gourd, chili, cabbage, pechay, nalta jute, sponge gourd, pole sitao, and bottle gourd.

She produced and sustained her vegetable production until May 2021.

Table 2. Sales from five cropping seasons

As a wife, Anne also shared that she and her husband made good teamwork when it comes to handling their finances.

Anne reiterated that while working as a farm laborer, laundry helper, and vegetable grower, her husband works as a tenant of a 3ha rice farm.

From her multiple jobs, she attested that she would always save at least 10% from her total income while his husband would also allocate 20% from their earnings in rice farming for the construction of their dream house.

Through perseverance, Anne shared that whatever job is available as long as it contributes to her personal growth, she would always indulge herself just to earn and save money for their dream house.

“Kanayun ko nga panunuten idi nga uray kasano karigat iti ubra, nu ammom nga gudwaen iti prayoridad mo, ado iti mabalin nga kabaelam. Isu nga han lang nga pagsusumikap iti naadal ko nu kidi nu kasano nga ikkan iti importansya iti oras nga agtar-taray,” shared Anne.

[It’s not about how much time you have. It’s about how effectively you manage your time. For me, who belongs to the marginalized sector, I’ve learned the good impact of proper time management to uphill the battle against poverty. If you’re not managing your time well, there’s no way you’re going to reach your goals.]

Anne also added that with the benefit of rain shelter provided to the association, she boosted her vegetable crops which allows her to accumulate more income from selling in their locality.

“Maraming Salamat SAAD, dakel iti naitulong na kanyak etuy nga proyekto [Big thanks to SAAD for helping me and my family towards greater progress],” added Anne.

Inspired by the success of Anne, the FA members plan to organize a communal garden, so they can work together to achieve a significant pay-off to improve labor productivity and to supply their community with fresh vegetables.

For many farmers, the dream to provide a better life for themselves and their families is inherent and with the help of the SAAD Program, coupled with self-determination and perseverance this can be achieved.

Ways forward

Witnessing the progress of Anne, her colleagues are planning to organize communal gardening so they can work together as an association as a strategy to improve labor productivity and eventually supply their community with fresh vegetables for food consumption. ###

Writer: Kathleen Faye B. Agonoy, Information Officer I, SAAD Apayao


Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of motivation,  Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000 Retrieved from:

First semester 2018 Poverty Statistics of the Cordillera, Philippine Statistical Authority 2018, 2019 retrieved from:

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