BAGUIO CITY, August 8, 2023 – Some 439 current group beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 will benefit from the new marketing and database guidelines to be adopted by the 15 SAAD Regional Program Management Support Offices (RPMSOs) across the country, a step to address and strengthen the sustainability of agri-livelihood project grants.
SAAD Phase 2 midyear assessment gathered for the first time 16 DA-SAAD implementing units including the National Program Management Office (NPMO), with the National Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) to locate overall program progress, assess and report accomplishments, and discuss solutions to pressing concerns affecting the implementation including policy recommendations, and proposing strategies and processes to ease workflow on the ground.
The Program finished the first semester with an overall rate of 61.32% (Php 444.82 million) fund obligation and 34.60% (Php 153.90 million) disbursement from the Php 725.40 million total budget allocation for FY 2023.
Former SAAD Phase 1 Program Steering Committee (PSC) and proactive members of the now NPAC provided solutions, citing current policies and throwing blazing questions to float unique practices and expertise of the 15 RPMSO development workers who represented their regions for the midyear assessment.
Technical Advisor Annray Rivera from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Operations; Atty. Osano Paredes from Legal Service; Market Specialist Andrian Bali from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service; Accounting Staff Noel Dato and Maria Anelie Laurente; Arnel Tenorio from Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering; Mark Nello Alvarez from Agricultural Training Institute; Noli Garcia from Bureau of Plant Industry; Byron Gadiano and Mark Lester Red from Special Projects Coordination and Management Assistance Division; and Candice Guilaran from Bureau of Agricultural Research comprised the NPAC delegates during the activity.
Five (5) regions with the highest financial and physical accomplishments were recognized for their efforts in delivering projects and maintaining healthy finances in their respective areas. Under the command and support of the DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs), Bicol Region with 93.76% ranked first, followed by Cagayan Valley (83.50%), Caraga Region (82.28%), Zamboanga Peninsula (79.75%(, and Central Luzon (78.36%).
MAED and IDD guidelines
With the ultimate objective to transform projects into community-based enterprises (CBEs), which hope to address economic sustainability, increase the variety of income sources, and improve food production within the target communities and beneficiaries, the Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development (MAED) guidelines in Phase 2 is crafted to become more systematic and help realize these goals.
After consultations with the DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) in June and July, MAED shall concentrate on studying the market, strategizing through partnerships, and preparatory activities for SAAD beneficiaries and their projects to engage in enterprise development.
Meanwhile, the SAAD Information Technology and Database Development (IDD) Unit with its main task to address the need for better and ethical data management, processing, report generation, and promotion of the Program introduced tools to enhance data processes in response, and as primary action to the call of the DA to modernize the agriculture and fishery sectors of the country.
Geo-mapping, RSBSA linking, and data analytics dashboard which can be accessed by the public are some tools to improve, understand, and bring the trends closer to authorities able for necessary actions. SAAD IDD shall tap concerned offices such as the DA Legal Service for data privacy.
The SAAD Phase 2 FY 2023 Midyear National Assessment ran from July 31 to August 4, 2023, in Baguio City. The activity was also graced by the Regional Technical Director (RTD) of Eastern Visayas, Larry U. Sultan; Zamboanga Peninsula RTD Marissa Mohammad; Northern Mindanao RTD Carlota S. Madriaga; and Caraga RTD Rebecca R. Atega.
The assessment activity was made possible by the Cordillera Administrative Region Field Office (CARFO) led by Regional Technical Director (RTD), Engr. Danilo P. Daguio who opened the weeklong ceremony.
SAAD National Deputy Director Pedro S. Dumaraos Jr acknowledged the contributions of the regional implementing units while reminding them of the importance of Participatory Rural Appraisal as a social preparation tool to ensure that the program is responsive to the needs of farmers and fishers, allowing them to lead and shape their development. He emphasized that as agri-extension workers who are considered front liners in advancing the program’s mission, they need to be compassionate and listen carefully to the voice of the marginalized sectors to create significant and impactful agri-development in the countryside. ###
Writer: Jessamae Gabon, DA-SAAD NPMO Information Officer
Article contributor and photos: Jennifer A. Valcobero, DA-SAAD NPMO Information Officer