ILOILO – Twenty five farmers from different barangays in the poor town of Badiangan were taught of principles and strategies used by South Koreans in the early ‘70s to transform their war-torn country into an economic power house now.
The successful rural modernization campaign known as Saemaul Undong (SMU) or New Community Movement was introduced to these organic farmers during the SMU Leadership Training held in Badiangan Central Elementary School on Wednesday (July 1, 2015).
Organized by the Philippine Saemaul Undong, the training, which will end on Friday, was held in coordination with the Provincial Agriculture, Planning and Development, Cooperative, and Information and Community Affairs Offices of Iloilo.
Badiangan Mayor Serafin Villa hoped that the introduction of SMU in the town could help prosper growth, especially among the lives of marginal farmers who have been craving for “change” their whole life.
Badiangan is a fourth class municipality in Iloilo which means that its annual income ranges from P25-35 million and its economy is highly dependent to agriculture.
The introduction of SMU in Badiangan aims to share the success story of South Korea and make the town a community development model in the Philippines.
Saemaul Undong is a successful model of poverty eradication, attitudinal change (mental revolution), and rural modernization. In other words, it is a movement for a wealthier life.
Founded by late President Park Chung-Hee, Saemaul Undong began as a modest rural program in the winter of 1970-71 and it eventually became the driving force of economic growth in Korea.
In the Philippines, the movement started in Iloilo since 1990 and is presently headed by Mario Nillos, also the province’s planning and development officer and Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. acts as adviser.
So far, PSMU has community development projects in Bingawan, San Dionisio, and Leon.