BILIRAN, September 5, 2023 – In the course of expanding agricultural development efforts in the region, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Eastern Visayas conducted preparatory activity in the newly-covered province of Biliran.
The SAAD Program’s second phase expands its inclusion criteria beyond the poorest provinces, now encompassing municipalities in the 5th and 6th income classes.
Consequently, the province of Biliran qualifies for the program. The DA Regional Field Office 8 led by Regional Executive Director and SAAD Regional Focal, Dr. Andrew Rodolfo T. Orais, initiated a meeting with Provincial Governor, Gerard Roger M. Espina and the Provincial Agriculturist, Ms. Julia T. Sandiford together with officials to discuss the program’s implementation on May 8, 2023, at the Provincial Capitol of Naval, Biliran.
Also present were Field Operations Division Chief, Mr. Rodel A. Macapañas, SAAD Regional Program Management Support Officers (RPMSO) Operational Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring, and Evaluation lead Ms. Ferlynn V. Basañez, and Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) Ms. Dandellion A. Ador.
The DA-SAAD Biliran team, led by Ms. Ceiara A. Uraga, Associate Project Officer II, and three (3) Community Development Officers II, will assist in providing interventions to aid farmers and serve toward the effective and efficient implementation of the SAAD.
Governor Espina expressed optimism about the partnership between the DA and the local government of Biliran, highlighting the benefits for the agricultural sector.
“ We, in the province, are happy that this program will surely help our farmers and fisherfolks,” Gov. Espina said.
The program covers the municipalities of Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, and Maripipi – seven out of eight (8) municipalities in Biliran, which are considered Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs).
In FY 2023, SAAD Eastern Visayas plans to allocate Php 11.4 million to support 12 target farmers’ associations (FAs) in Biliran, aiming to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in their communities.
Since 2017, SAAD Eastern Visayas has been rendering services towards agricultural development in the provinces of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Southern Leyte, and Leyte. In its Phase 1 implementation, the program was able to provide a total of 169 livelihood projects to 930 FAs, which benefited a total of 17,156 individual beneficiaries.
In its Phase 2 implementation, SAAD Eastern Visayas is set to cater to a total of six (6) provinces with a total of 60 Local Government Units (LGUs) categorized as 5th and 6th income class municipalities.###
Writer: JustineMay A. Delloro, DA-SAAD Eastern Visayas Information Officer
Source: Engr. Iris Hayden L. Peñeda, SAAD Eastern Visayas Associate Project Officer