"Ramdam na"

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Created on Thursday, 28 February 2019 Published Date

“Ramdam na,” which is slang vernacular for “Nararamdaman na” (It is already being felt), sums up the impression of grateful beneficiaries who were privileged to receive varied assistance from 2017–2018 SAAD Program. This was the preponderant appreciation from the recipients of “unexpected whirlwind of blessings” coming from the government.

This overall impression was floated on during the 2nd round of project monitoring conducted in January 2019.  Farmers who were benefited by the implemented projects were enthusiastic in welcoming the M&E team, eager as they were to relate their experiences. They seemed to possess an added boost to their morale because of perceived financial independence and the prospect of generating potential earning in the future.

The impact of the projects may not have manifested yet during the swing of monitoring conducted earlier on in the 5 SAAD Program–covered provinces sometime in September 2018. However, 5 months later, it is already felt by the recipients, albeit moderately, especially those who have already gone through several cycles of production. Results of the 1st formal monitoring held last year were featured in the September 2018 issue of Peryodikit.

The findings during the 1st monitoring were validated in January 2019. These were in the areas of beneficiary selection, delivery and distribution of inputs, and project coordination. More findings were highlighted in this year’s monitoring, such as the variance of breed/variety of delivered inputs from those specified in the PRs. An example of which is the ube cuttings supplied to farmers in Calbiga, Samar. They were of mixed type:  tinampay and inuringnon, even if it was specified in the PR that the variety required was of the former kind due to its aroma, color, customer preference, and ease in processing.

In the latest project monitoring, some best practices have surfaced that possibly contributed to the viability of the interventions implemented in the poor communities. Among these outstanding features worth adopting in other areas are as follows:

  1. Incentive/s given by LGU to high–performing farmers boost their morale.  In the case of Hazel Socorro of San Roque, Northern Samar, the Honorable Mayor awarded her a buffalo for garnering the highest sale of PhP37,500.00 among all swine fattening project beneficiaries.  A similar case happened in Oras, Eastern Samar in June 2018, where Honorable Mayor Vivian P. Alvarez gave 2 piglets each to the top three swine fatteners who, upon harvest, obtained the highest gross weight.
  2. A duly–notarized Affidavit of Recipient is issued, copy furnished MLGU–San Roque, Northern Samar for every sale made by the FB.  This is in the best interest of SAAD Program as the recipient cannot dispose of his/her commodity anytime at his/her discretion because it is being monitored by the LGU.  The document may also be the basis for giving of awards by the MLGU to deserving farmers.
  3. OPA–Southern Leyte, in coordination with PPMSO, assists farmers in marketing their products.  Product assemblers, Zaragoza and PHCCI, had been contracted to purchase on a wholesale basis the farmers’ harvested cassava and corn, respectively.  In the marketing of pigs, the office also facilitated in selling the beneficiaries’ harvested swine to local butchers/buyers.
  4. In Matuguinao, Samar, all beneficiaries of the Swine Production Project agreed that for every delivery of the gilt, 2 weanlings will be donated to the Municipal Agriculture Office for rollover to next–in–line beneficiaries who have not yet availed of the intervention.  The farmers themselves will agree on whom to give the piglet/s.  If the FB decides to give only 1 weanling, then he/she should donate 3 upon the next delivery.

In the succeeding monitoring sorties, for sure there are still success stories waiting to unfold.  Gauging from the results of the past monitoring rounds, there seems to be a great possibility of good things to come in the program areas.  The challenge posed to project management and implementors now is on how to sustain the level of interest of farmer–beneficiaries in keeping up the achievements, and even bring them to a higher level, one step at a time.  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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