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QUEZON CITY, January 3, 2024 – The Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources successfully concluded the inaugural year of Special Area for Agricultural Development
(SAAD) Program Phase 2. This transformative six (6)-year initiative aims to contribute to poverty
reduction and improve the living conditions of low income fisherfolk by providing them with
sustainable livelihood opportunities and support for struggling fishing sectors. The program
includes 60 provinces from 15 regions namely: Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1 (Ilocos),
Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4A (CALABARZON), Region 4B
(MIMAROPA), Region 5 (Bicol), Region 6 (Western Visayas), Region 7 (Central Visayas), Region 8
(Eastern Visayas), Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Region 11
(Davao), Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), Region 13 (Caraga).

In its initial year, P483 million (99%) of the P486 million total budget allotment has been obligated
and P430 million (88%) has been disbursed. 964 Social Preparation Activities were conducted, 249
Livelihood Projects have been distributed, and 332 Specialized Trainings have been conducted.

The SAAD program is divided into four (4) main components: Program Management, Social
Preparation (SocPrep), Food Production and Livelihood (FPL) , and Marketing Assistance and
Enterprise Development (MAED). All of these components aim to assist the fisherfolk beneficiary
from initial to marketing stages of their fishery enterprise.

Program Management: Coordinated Excellence

This component involves coordinating and managing projects to achieve strategic the SAAD
Program’s objectives. It focuses on the effective planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation of
related fishery projects and activities. This year, the National Program Management Support Office
(NPMSO) along with the Regional Program Management Support Offices (RPMSO) conducted a
series of capacity building trainings, policy formulation and quarterly physical and financial

Social Preparation: Understanding Needs, Catalyzing Change

This component consists of initial activities that help identify the basic and complex needs of the
target fisherfolk beneficiaries. This shall serve as the baseline for their social and economic
improvement. The activities encompass community assessments, profiling, capacity building, and
capacity development activities.

This year, the BFAR-SAAD Program have conducted a series of Social Preparation activities
including Beneficiary Needs Assessments (BNA’s) Capacity Building Trainings, an example of which
is Financial Literacy Training through the Fish n’ LEarn game. ###

Food Production and Livelihood: Nurturing Future Entrepreneurs

This component provides fishery goods and services to beneficiaries across the three fishery
sectors: Aquaculture, Capture and Postharvest. Along with tangible inputs, beneficiaries are also
required to participate in specialized trainings to ensure the proper utilization of the livelihood program.
These interventions are packaged into a transformative livelihood project that allows
beneficiaries to develop into entrepreneurs.

All 15 regions have successfully distributed livelihood packages, with the majority already
completed and some still in progress.

Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development: Fostering Sustainability.

When the beneficiary fisherfolk and their respective associations are already provided with the
necessary goods, undergone capacity building and specialized trainings, and have been partially or
fully established as enterprise, they shall now be provided with Marketing assistance and undergo
Enterprise Development. This final component will give them market related activities such as
market identification and linkages, along with enterprise development trainings.

The SAAD Program Phase 2 envisions that fisherfolk beneficiaries are assisted until they can be
sustainably income-generating and fully functional on their own and do not need further assistance
from the Program. By doing so, SAAD guarantees their meaningful contribution to both national
food security and the enhancement of livelihoods through sustainable economic advancement.

As the DA-BFAR reflects on the achievements of SAAD Program Phase 2’s inaugural year, it stands
as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path toward a future where every fisherfolk can stand tall,
resilient, and independently thriving.###

Writer: Marc Jayson Santos