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SAAD CALABARZON dev’t workers strengthens community organizing

CALABARZON, September 7, 2023 – Area coordinators and regional staff of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 in CALABARZON underwent community organizing skills development to improve farmers’ organizations management as program frontliners. 

Held at the Research and Development (R&D)  Conference Hall, Brgy. Marauoy, Lipa City, the three-day training from July 19 to 21, 2023 was led by Dr. Pedro S. Dumaraos Jr., SAAD National Program Management Office (NPMO) Deputy Director. 

Twenty-five (25) implementers from the Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) and Provincial Program Management Support Office (PPMSO) of Quezon and Batangas, as well as representatives from Research and Development Division (RDD) and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) participated in the workshop.

Community organizing aims to engage and mobilize the local community to actively participate in agricultural development projects as well as identify and address their needs and aspirations. It is a people-centered approach comprising capability-building, developing self-reliance, and empowerment of the beneficiaries.

The session kicked off with an interactive activity called the Gallery of Pictures, where participants were asked to select an image that captured their perception of poverty and development. Dr. Dumaraos then pointed out the significance of understanding the complex relationship between poverty and development as a cornerstone of becoming an effective community organizer. 

“Bilang SAAD Officer, alam at naiintindihan mo dapat kung ano ang kahirapan at kung ano ang magagawa mo upang ang ating mga magsasaka ay umunlad,” Dr. Dumaraos said. 

(As a SAAD Officer, you need to understand and empathize with the hardships faced by our farmers, and what you can do to help them prosper.) 

During the discussion, steps of community organizing such as entry into the community, integration with people, social analysis, spotting and developing leaders, core-group building, setting up an organization, as well as strengthening the organization, were discussed, which are parallel to the social preparation activities of the SAAD Program. 

Dr. Dumaraos emphasized that a community organizer must know how to effectively organize and help the people identify their issues and assess their needs. He also mentioned the many hats of a community organizer, such as being truthful to his words and actions, being compassionate, always ready to help, and acting as a facilitator and team builder. 

More importantly, Dr. Dumaraos shared that development is for all, putting farmers’ welfare as top priority. 

The activity concluded with a Pledge of Commitment as a symbol of dedication and a continuous promise to be a partner in the progress of farmers and fishermen in the region. ###

Writers: Nicole C. Zarsuelo, DA-SAAD CALABARZON Information Officer, Jayvee Amir P. Ergino, DA-SAAD CALABARZON Information Officer

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