Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Chairpersons assume their role as Farmer-Directors of Department of Agriculture Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) nationwide at the start of the Farmers and Fisherfolk Month on May 2019. (source: Partnership Development Division)

With the aim of enhancing collaboration between the government and private sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has designated anew Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Chairpersons as Executive Directors of DA Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) for the whole of May 2019.

This is in line with the DA’s Memorandum Order issued last March 2017 which installs RAFC Chairpersons to assume the roles and responsibilities of DA REDs under the Farmer-Director program which is being observed annually alongside the Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s month during May of each year.

Under this set-up, the RAFC Chairs shall serve as head of DA-RFOs in which they shall be in charge of implementing key programs of the Department in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

As not to conflict with civil service rules and regulations, the Farmer-Directors’ nature of work has been limited to non-policy determining activities such as presiding Management Committee (ManCom) meetings and holding dialogues with Local Government Units (LGUs) in consultation with the respective DA RED in the area, among others.

During the same period, the DA REDs shall conduct RAFC Sectoral Meetings in which they will serve as presiding officers, aside from monitoring programs and projects of their respective RFOs. Thru this activity, it will enable the DA’s Regional heads to identify issues and developments concerning the agri-fishery sector in their jurisdiction, and the possible recommendatory actions to address such.

This annual activity is in recognition of the vital role of the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) as a formal body in deliberating key issues and formulation of policy recommendations aimed at the crafting of policy reforms and legislation that are beneficial to the welfare of the country’s farming and fishing industries.

Thru the AFCs, it enables the state and the private sector to forge a strong linkage in developing the agriculture and fisheries sector at the regional, provincial, and municipal levels. By the Farmer-Director program, it empowers the representation of the AFCs which are its Chairpersons, to be significant contributors and partners in local agricultural development through this sound participatory process.

In this regard, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), which serves as the facilitator of the AFCs nationwide, expressed gratitude for involving the AFC Chairs in the Farmer-Director program. “I am thankful to all DA Regional Executive Directors for allowing the RAFCs to serve the agri-fishery communities in their localities thru this program,” said PCAF Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona.  – AE