AFC Chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and other participants of the Luzon A cluster listen to PCAF-PDD Assistant Chief Soledad Bernardo as she discusses the AFC Manual of Operations. (Photo courtesy of PDD)

PCAF has convened the AFC chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and coordinators from 16 regions to present the content of the AFC Manual of Operations (MoO) in July.

Almost 400 participants including Regional AFC Electoral Board Chairpersons, Regional Executive Officers and PCAF Regional Job Order staff joined the five separate consultations.

The MoO serves as the reference of the AFC volunteer-partners in performing their duties and functions as well as in the conduct of their operations. The handbook was crafted by selected officers of the different divisions of PCAF.

The nationwide consultation aims to have a common and shared understanding among the AFCs and PCAF regarding the AFC MoO. It also increases the awareness, participation, collaboration and commitment between and among AFC leaders and its coordinators in the implementation of the manual.

The first consultation was conducted in the Visayas region wherein 61 participants from regions 6, 7 and 8 met at the Dohera Hotel in Mandaue City in Cebu on July 4 to 7.

It was immediately followed by  Luzon A and Luzon B which were simultaneously done on July 7 to 9 at Lewis Grand Hotel in Angeles, Pampanga and Tagaytay International Convention Center,  respectively. Luzon A gathered 90 participants from the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), regions 1,2 and 3, while Luzon B had more than 80 from regions 4-A, 4-B and 5.

Eighty-five participants also assembled at the Pinnacle Hotel in Davao City from Mindanao B on July 19 to 20.  Mindanao B is composed of regions 11, 12 and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The last leg of the consultation gathered more than 80 from regions 9, 10 and Caraga of Mindanao A in Agusan City from July 26 to 29.

Although the participants agreed to support the implementation of AFC MoO, the AFC volunteer-partners voiced out their concerns during the series of consultations.

One of the frequently asked questions in the orientations was about the exclusion of the Barangay AFCs (BAFCs) from the MoO. PCAF-Policy Development Division (PDD) clarified that under the Executive Order 116 and Republic Act 8435, the consultative function of the then National Agricultural and Fisheries Council or NAFC, now PCAF, shall be replicated in the regional, provincial and municipal level.

According to PDD, PCAF is not limiting the City and Municipal AFCs (CAFCs and MAFCs) to organize their BAFCs, as these are the composition of the membership of the CAFCs and MAFCs.

Aside from the AFC MoO consultation, PCAF also presented the guidelines for the Search for Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Coordinators.