QUEZON CITY, May 12, 2023 – The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program had a face-to-face meeting to explore points of collaboration toward the same mission of reducing poverty among marginalized rural farmers and fisherfolk sectors.
Learning from the pandemic experience, NAPC puts greater emphasis on agricultural development for rural communities. The NAPC was created through the Republic Act. No. 8425 or the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act as a coordinating and advisory body in the implementation of the Social Reform Agenda ensuring anti-poverty strategies are incorporated from the national to local programs and development plans.
The Commission, underlining agriculture and rural development recognizes engulfed poverty incidence in 2021 where the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported poverty incidence among population at 18.1% from 16.7% in (2018), which translated to 19.9 million Filipinos living below the poverty threshold.
According to the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, the development agenda prioritizes poverty reduction and inclusive growth that targets to reduce poverty incidence to 9% by 2028.
The NAPC encourages a strengthened agricultural economy through small economic activities, and improved access to food where resources are distributed strategically to urban and rural areas to reduce the development gap. In terms of agricultural development, pouring rational investments, capital, and proper technology adoption into the countryside is seen to contribute to the reduction of symptoms of poverty in rural communities.
DA implementing programs and projects that boost the value chain is in sync with the agenda on poverty reduction. SAAD Program’s holistic approach to rural community development is centered around three (3) components namely: Social Preparation, Food Production and Livelihood provision, and Marketing and Enterprise Development. The program design does not only aim to distribute physical assistance, but also consistently prepares and equips beneficiaries for organizing, leadership, livelihood management, post-harvest and value-addition, and facilitation of market linkages for their products.
The meeting was attended by SAAD, headed by Director Ulysses J. Lustria, Jr., and the NAPC implementers. The preliminary partnership meeting sparked points of convergence in the registry of agriculture actors, involvement of the NAPC in planning and budget activities of SAAD, and policy crafting in line with both institutions’ approaches to achieving poverty reduction agenda. ###
Writer: Jessamae Gabon, DA-SAAD NPMO Information Officer