The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) formally welcomed new Agricultural and Fishery Council members (AFCs) from Luzon A, Luzon B and Visayas, and Mindanao A and B clusters through an online orientation on September 29, October 6, and 8, 2020, respectively.

This is in line with PCAF’s pursuit towards inclusive, innovative, and participatory development of relevant policy recommendations by involving both private and public sectors.

The orientation acquainted the new AFC members on PCAF and the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) programs, projects, roles, functions, responsibilities, limitations, rights, and benefits that they can enjoy as volunteer-partners.  

PCAF Acting Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad expressed her hopes on getting to know the new members more. “We wanted to show and highlight the important role of AFC and everyone towards achieving our common goals,” she added.

The highlight of the orientation is the discussion of the AFC manual which is now called omnibus guidelines on AFC engagement which covers the composition of the AFCs, functions, rights, and benefits of its members. 

The orientation also gave its participants the chance to know more about PCAF’s strategic shift called Innovative Consultation for Agriculture and Fishery (A&F) Policy Reforms and Engagement or more commonly known as iCARE and its service brands WeAdVoCATE, WeCoNSULT, and WeTRACK.  

The WeAdVoCATE or We Advance Voices and Choices in the A&F sector Towards Empowering Enterprises presented their vision which includes empowering enterprises, engage stakeholders of different commodities for participatory policy and program development process, expand and include agribusiness players in strengthening enterprise development, and to be recognized as the DA’s premier stakeholders databank agency.

Meanwhile, the WeCoNSULT or We Collaborate with Networks of A&F to Unify and Lead Transformation discussed the importance of the role of AFCs in crafting sound policy recommendations and participating in the program development process. This also highlighted the importance of having more AFC partners across different fields of expertise in order to generate ideas from various experts and to ensure that their specific fields are well represented.

On the other hand, the WeTRACK or  We Transform Results into Action through Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing discussed how the monitoring services of PCAF generate data and results which are evaluated and then eventually passed to the Knowledge Management Section for proper packaging and dissemination to PCAF’s private sector stakeholders.

PCAF OIC Deputy Director Julieta Opulencia who was also present in the orientation encouraged the participants to collaborate and unite in facing the challenges of the agri-fishery sector as this is when the objectives of AFC’s can be fully realized “This is only the beginning. We welcome new ideas to craft effective policy recommendations,” she added.

The orientation wrapped up through a pledge of commitment from the newly appointed AFC members and the presentation of their respective certificates of participation. ###Carlos Cezar Baldosa