Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona presents her directives for this year’s PCAF Programs and Activities.

Reaffirming every staff’s commitment to accomplish the targets set by the agency for 2018 was the highlight of the General Staff Meeting and Direction Setting held on January 4 at the Department of Agriculture (DA) Conference Room, DA New Building in Quezon City.

The half day affair was led by the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona wherein the approved budget of the agency and her directives were presented to jampacked conference room of PCAF staff.

It could be recalled that the year 2017 was the full year of Director Cayona in leading and managing PCAF, as well as its operating units (OUs) and its Advisory Special Bodies (ASBs). On her speech, she said it was challenging yet exciting. She also expressed gratitude and appreciation to the men and women of PCAF who helped her in dealing with the demands of the agency’s stakeholders as well as the requirement of the oversight agencies such as the DBM and the COA.

“Let us work hand in hand as we face another challenge this year. I firmly believe that we will do it with flying colors as I believe we can do it,” Director Cayona emphasized.

Before setting the directions for PCAF, Planning, Monitoring and Knowledge Management Division (PMKMD) Chief Estrella Tulay discussed the PCAF’s approved budget for this year. Given emphasis during the presentation were the budget allocation on major activities by Program, Activity and Projects (PAP) which is necessary for the attainment of the agency’s major final output.

Under PAP 1 which focuses on the Development and Coordination of Agriculture and Fishery Policies, activities included are consultations/dialogues of ASBs, conduct of policy studies, participation in local fora, congresses, conferences and conventions related to sectoral and strategic concerns and hiring of job-order personnel.

PAP 2 which constitutes Planning, Monitoring and Knowledge Management, lined-up activities includes mid-year and year-end performance review and planning workshop, conduct of an area-wide participatory planning workshop with the ASBs, conduct of evaluative study, participatory monitoring and tracking, conduct of Knowledge Unloading Day, production and distribution of various knowledge products and participation to international fora.

As for PAP 3 for Partnership Development, proposed activities include Agriculture and Fishery Councils (AFCs) operational meetings and activities, support to Regional AFCs Desk Office and job orders, conduct of AFC orientation, validation of Gawad Saka nominees for Outstanding Provincial and Municipal AFCs, awarding of Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Secretariat-Coordinators and conduct of the National Agri-Fishery Volunteers Day and conduct of trainings for the ASBs.

PMKMD Chief Tulay encouraged the cooperation of the concerned units. According to her opening statement, communication and guidance are very important in any organization but having a common understanding in every task will result in a good production.              

After the presentation of the agency’s approved budget, Executive Director Cayona discussed her directives to all concerned PCAF OUs. The directives were based on the output of the strategic planning workshop conducted by PCAF together with the local and national secretariat in the last quarter of 2017.

Among the issues and gaps discussed were the crafting of a good plan and budget; plan implementation; monitoring of OUs’ work and financial plan and agency’s physical and financial performance; annual procurement plan/project procurement management plan; and cash advances.

Additional issues include stakeholders participatory monitoring and tracking; production of knowledge products and development of databases; ISO certification; strategic performance management system; activity of management committees; attainment of targets; funding of municipal agriculture and fishery councils; gender and development plan and capability enhancement.

Administrative, Financial and Management Division Acting Chief Engr. Alexander Daroya led the PCAF community in the pledge of commitment. Immediately after the recitation of the pledge of commitment, a toast capped the activity signaling the start of new challenges and new opportunity for PCAF. – JD