SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 12 (DA-RFO1 2) turned over P25 million to acting Gov. Shirlyn Macasarte of North Cotabato to fund the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) programs of the province.
DA-RFO12 Executive Director Mila Casis said the agency has special projects for indigent residents that will help improve their lives through stable sources of income. The regional unit covers Soccsksargen that is composed of the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos.
North Cotabato alone has 17 municipalities and one city.
The release of funds for SAAD programs for North Cotabato came after Casis facilitated a fund transfer for the local governments of Sarangani and Maguindanao last week.
SAAD is a strategy of the Department of Agriculture where the weak points of an area in agriculture are identified and studied for its potentials.
Casis also said the strategy supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision to increase domestic food production and alleviate poverty in the countryside.
She also said the agricultural program will provide appropriate technologies, financing, marketing and other support services to farmers and fisher folk to make them productive and earn more income.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol has repeatedly reminded local government executives DA programs aimed at alleviating poverty must be implemented with full transparency, and with no further delays or red tape in their implementation.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL