TACLOBAN CITY – Poverty incidence in the three Samar provinces, particularly the farmers, are expected to decrease with the funding released by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Governors Sharee Ann Tan of Samar, Jose Ong of Northern Samar and Conrado Nicart, Jr. of Eastern Samar received P25 million from Agriculture Assistant Secretary Lerey Panes on Monday(January 16) that will be used to implement DA’s Special Area for Agricultural Development(SAAD).
SAAD is a special program of the DA focusing on 10 top poorest provinces in the country of which the three Samar provinces are included in the list.
DA is targeting to reduce poverty in Samar provinces by 25% in the next three years.
The three Samar governors received the first tranche of the P50 million SAAD fund.
The national government allocates P50 million budget for each province while P150 million is allocated to the DA regional office for the implementation of SAAD.
Of the P50 million budget per province, P31.5 million will be used for enhancing rice production, P3.3 million for corn production, P7.5 million to enhance vegetable production and P7.6 million for sustainable livestock production.
Under the P150 million budget for the region, P94.6 million will be used to enhance rice production, P9.9 million for corn production, P32.5 million to enhance vegetable production and P23.1 million for sustainable livestock production.
ASec. Panes said that Secretary Manny Piñol’s mandate to all offices of DA is to implement the SAAD project free from corruption to achieve their goal of improving the living condition of the people in poorest provinces of the country.
“That is why, he entrusted us this budget to help the farmers to create a good environment and that good environment will affect others, making them productive and we will evaluate this after three years to know if the program is effective or not,” he said.
Panes added that SAAD has two funding components- one is to be implemented by the provincial government through the fund they will turn over to the governor and projects to be implemented by the DA regional offices.
Gov.Tan said that for the project to succeed, social preparation among the beneficiaries is really necessary.
“The biggest responsibility in this program is on the implementation but its success will depend on the attitude of the people,” she said.
Gov. Ong, for his part, said that in support to the SAAD project of the national government, they will also implement agricultural projects that will complement it and will augment the income not only of farmers but including fishermen.
“Our role in this program is to monitor and see that the funds are utilize properly by the beneficiaries who will decide if this program will succeed or not,” he said.