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GANDARA,SAMAR – “Diri nala SAAD, kundi natuman na.” (It’s not just a promise, but it’s already fulfilled.) were the words of affirmation shared by Mr. Herminigildo Lotoc, President of the Yangta Fisherfolks Association (YFA), after attending the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Phase II Organizational Development and Financial Management Training in Barangay Yangta, Daram, Samar on May 9-10, 2024.

Mr. Lotoc, along with the 32 members of the association, was taught essential pointers to enhance their organizational effectiveness by improving team dynamics, cultivating positive attitudes among members, and developing their financial literacy to make informed financial decisions. Among the topics discussed by the BFAR 8 trainers from the Regional Fisheries Training and Fisherfolk Coordination Division (RFTFD) and the Provincial Fisheries Offices (PFOs) of Leyte and Samar were Values Restoration, Financial Literacy and Management, and Organizational Development.

The association also actively engaged in the Fish N’ Learn interactive learning game, which simulates real-life events influencing their financial behavior and reinforces positive money habits and values.

Also present during the training was 2024 Regional Fisherfolk Director (RFD) Melboy P. Hechanova, who encouraged the association to make the most of all the opportunities provided by the SAAD Phase II, offering feasible livelihood interventions and empowering their families and communities.

To date, a total of nine (9) Social Preparation activities have been conducted in Samar, a fraction of the 67 target Social Preparation activities of SAAD Phase II for 2024 in the region. These activities are conducted to ensure preparedness and to assess and develop the acceptability level of the project among its qualified beneficiaries in the 5th and 6th class municipalities and the top third poorest municipalities in Eastern Visayas.

The YFA will be receiving Php1.5M worth of 8x8x5 High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) cage with mooring system, bangus fingerlings, aquafeeds, and technical assistance from the BFAR 8 SAAD Phase II this third quarter of 2024. The association is among the five (5) fisherfolk associations to receive the said bangus cage farming intervention in Samar under SAAD Phase II, which aims to boost local aquaculture production and enhance the livelihood of their respective fisherfolk communities. ###