TABUK CITY, Kalinga – “Let us help the community beneficiaries of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program in Kalinga Province help themselves.”
The advice was given by Domingo Bakilan, Provincial Agriculturist of Kalinga, in a message to local officials and participants of the SAAD consultation-workshop held last January 27, 2018 at the Golden Berries Convention Center, Tabuk City, Kalinga.
The SAAD consultation-workshop was undertaken with the beneficiaries to determine the program’s priority projects and activities in Kalinga in 2019.
To be able to carry-out his suggestion, Bakilan said that it is best done with camaraderie among the program’s implementers from the barangay all the way to the provincial levels.
“We can surely succeed if we will work hard, hand-in-hand, as a first step and a continuing approach through the end,” he added.
The three municipalities that will be covered by the program are Balbalan, Pasil, and Tanudan with three barangays each.
The coverage barangays from the municipality of Balbalan are Balbalan Proper, Maling and Dao-angan; from the municipality of Pasil, the coverage areas are Pugong, Malucsad and Ableg; and barangays from the municipality of Tanudan are Dupligan, Mabaca and Pangol.
These areas were selected based on the highest poverty incidence in a 2016 data gathered by the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office .
During the workshop, the participants identified priority crop commodities that they are engaged in and needs further development support with banana as the main commodity, and root crops as the alternative source of income specifically sweet potato, native ginger and turmeric, gabi and taro, and organic native pig.
Support and assistance to these commodities, according to the participants, must increase production, and improve quality of produce. With the program, the beneficiaries are seeking for the establishment of community enterprises and to provide alternative sources of income.
According to Mr. Caesar D. Lagon, OPAS-Kalinga Planning Officer, who presented the proposed Work and Financial Plan, banana production was chosen by the beneficiaries as their main commodity because it can assure them an increase in their income. Banana has been determined to be a suitable crop in the locality and has a favorable market in the Province throughout the year.
The proposed budget for the implementation of SAAD in Kalinga starting next year is around 60M.
To establish a smooth implementation of SAAD, Bakilan requested for a proper coordination with the governor to issue an executive order for the creation of a Provincial Program Management Office (PPMO) to lead the SAAD’s implementation in the provincial level.
The activity was attended by the National Program Management Office staff headed by SAAD Program Director Bernadette F. San Juan, Domingo Bakilan, the different municipal agriculturists of the three municipalities, the different barangay captains of the identified priority barangays and staff from the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture.
By Leny Mendoza.