Orientation on ELCAC at San Jose de Buan, Samar

Created on Monday, 05 April 2021 Published Date

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program penetrated the farthest and remotest barangay in Samar, located within an insurgency area in the municipality of San Jose de Buan.  The program simply cannot stop helping farmer communities elevate their socioeconomic status even at the risk of the field implementors’ safety.

Mr. Joel Pedraza, APCO/SAAD Focal Person of Samar, attended the Orientation on End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) on February 17, 2021 at the Municipal Session Building, San Jose de Buan, Samar.  Said orientation was participated in by members of the Gusa Farmers Association, majority of which are rebel returnees.  Mayor Joaquin Elizalde, AFP staff represented by Sgt. Danilo L. Silagan (INF) PA CMO, NCO Alpha Company, 87IB, Municipal Agriculturist Nimfa C. Reyes, and SAAD Provincial Coordinator Kristine Dorothea T. Danago were also present.

The Gusa Farmers Association is a recipient of the FY 2021 Egg Layer with Vegetable Production Project.  It was organized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in September 2019.  It also a recipient of the Greenlihood Project of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Samar.

APCO Pedraza discussed important factors that could help in managing the association.  He likewise emphasized that the Department of Agriculture is always ready to help farmers through its regular and special programs, like SAAD, by reaching out to far–flung communities.  He also encouraged them to nurture and manage the projects well.  For her part, PC Kristine Dorothea T. Danago presented the SAAD guidelines of implementation.

Mayor Joaquin Elizalde gave a short but encouraging message to members of the association.  He underscored the importance of the project which would enable families to increase their income, if managed well.  Furthermore, the good Mayor promised to provide materials for the construction of the association members’ housing.

During the conversation with Fernando R. Lazarra, Vice President of Gusa FA and a former rebel, he related that this is the first time ever that the farmers will receive help from the government.  According to him, “This is the start of a new life for us with assistance coming from the government.  To say thanks doesn’t come close to expressing our gratitude.  It has to manifest in our thinking, attitudes, and actions.  Hence, we will do our best to take good care of the project so it will be sustained because our passion in life is to make the future of our families happy and secured.” ### Roy A. Tabontabon, Area Coordinator II, PPMSO–Samar

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