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DA-SAAD 7 advances Phase 2 operations through partnership, collaboration with LGUs

MANDAUE CITY, July 27, 2023 – Acknowledging the vital role of the local government in activating and sustaining agricultural development initiatives in the marginalized rural areas, the Department of Agriculture’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Phase 2, with the Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) of Central Visayas, solicited support from the eight (8) target municipalities through a dialogue held in Cebu from July 3-4, 2023.

With the presence of the National Program Director Ulysses J. Lustria, Jr., the RPMSO Region 7 convened with partner local government units (LGUs) to establish partnerships and a thorough understanding of the SAAD Phase 2 initiatives, emphasizing the importance of the local government’s mobilization capacity and familiarity in the areas for the program implementation.

Following the program rationale, SAAD aims to target areas belonging to the top-third poorest provinces and 5th-6th income class municipalities; provide livelihood projects and eventually assist in the establishment of Community-Based Enterprises (CBEs). Target beneficiaries will receive economically-suited interventions assessed through Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA). 

DA-SAAD RPMSO 7 staff presented the implementing guidelines, mechanics, and flow of service improvements from Phase 1 to local government unit (LGU) partners in Cebu – Tudela, Pilar, Boljoon, Alcoy, Ronda, Alcantara, Samboan and Malabuyoc. Municipal mayors and representatives from the different LGUs were present to gain more insights on the SAAD’s core components, vision, mission, objectives, bases of selection, and the different livelihood programs included in the SAAD timetables. 

Muhangyo lang ko nga magtinabangay tang tanan. Let us work as a team kay kung naa may matagilid naay maka-rescue para ma-attain ang target” (I will ask that we all cooperate. Let’s work as a team so that when we encounter obstacles, someone will always come to the rescue and assist us in achieving our goal), said Dr. Mayolyn Majaducon, DA-SAAD 7 Alternate Focal Person, giving emphasis on the importance of teamwork and collaboration to obtain targets expected from the program.

SAAD Cebu Phase 2 implementation 

Currently, the Provincial Program Management Support Office of Cebu headed by the Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO), Ms. Marina Viniegas, assisted by Mr. Jehson Campos, Provincial Coordinator for SAAD Cebu, will be conducting their courtesy calls to their assigned LGUs to evaluate and determine the farmer associations that will undergo BNA. This method under the Program’s social preparation component is done by conducting a desk review, focused group discussions, and ocular inspections of planned project locations. Before the livelihood projects, the socio-economic data will validate and justify the much-needed interventions and projects suited to these beneficiaries. 

Director Lustria stressed that there are still 5th and 6th class municipalities in Cebu province – despite the perception that it is rich due to Cebu City. It also has areas belonging to the top-third municipalities according to the PSA 2018 report.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Gerry S. Avila, Chief of the Field Operations Division, clearly defined SAAD’s end goal on enterprise development and highlighted the importance of BNA as a social preparation component. He also emphasized that in the current SAAD structure, there is the Regional Program Advisory Committee (RPAC) whose members are practitioners, specialists and technical personnel who will provide guidance and assistance relative to the implementation of SAAD Phase 2.

“RPAC is here because they have the expertise to help our farmers because we are interconnected. We look for viable entrepreneurs in the area, we can do it through consolidation. We must have entrepreneurs in the local area,” Dr. Avila explained. 

Tudela Mayor Greman Solante thanked DA-SAAD Central Visayas for treating LGUs as partners in the implementation of the SAAD Program in the province. 

Dako kaayo tag ma expect aning SAAD, aning maong promise, aning maong commitment kay nakabutang gud diri role of LGU partners. So thank you kaayo nga you treated us LGU as your partner in the implementation. Not only in the execution phase but also in the pre-implementation process” (We’re expecting great from SAAD, from this promise, from this commitment, because the role of the LGU partners are clearly stated. So thank you, because you treated the LGU as your partner in the implementation. Not only in the execution phase but also in the pre-implementation process), said Mayor Solante.

Also present during the activity were SAAD teams from the Provincial Program Management Support Offices (PPMSOs) in Negros Oriental, Bohol, Siquijor, and Cebu. At the end of the activity, the LGU partners committed to engaging in cross-functional collaboration for an effective and efficient SAAD Phase 2 program implementation. ###

Writers: Jessica R. Alvero, Romeo Ruel M. Paras, DA-SAAD Central Visayas Information Officers

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