When it comes to bringing significant policy service to the agriculture and fisheries (A&F) sector, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) has been a top-of-mind in carrying out the activity.

PCAF, as the sole policy agency that fosters participatory A&F development processes, continuously aims to unite the extensive A&F sector in an archipelagic country and address the challenging situations in this time of the pandemic.

Early this year, OIC Executive Director Liza Battad endorsed the establishment of the Policy Service Ambassadorship System (PSAS). This holistic approach aims to enhance PCAF’s overall performance and expand its contributions to the sectors’ and clients’ profitability, competitiveness and sustainability.

How does PSAS work?

PSAS specifically intends to improve the quality of technical and administrative support provided to the agency’s network of Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) and ensure the timeliness of their outputs.

To do this, it developed and sustained a cadre of technical professionals that PCAF can fully harness as agency ambassadors in the execution of its functions across all service brands. An information management tool will also be set up to visually track, analyze and display key performance indicators and metrics related to the system’s functions.

In terms of its operational framework, PSAS focuses on the National Banner Program Committees (NBPCs), Other Priority Program Committees (OPPCs) and AFC Sectoral Committees at the regional, provincial, municipal and city levels. Therefore, its resources, targets and outputs are connected to the agency’s Program, Activity, and Project (PAP) budgets and Major Final Output (MFO), respectively. 

PSAS works under a coordinated interface among PCAF’s main operating units—the Policy Development and Coordination Division, the Partnership Development Division, and the Planning, Monitoring and Knowledge Management Division. An interface dashboard will be established to monitor and measure the division’s performance in congruence with the agency’s strategic plan, structures, thrusts and priorities.

To cope with the demands of this strategic direction and organizational agenda, PCAF gave birth to the Policy Service Ambassadors (PSAs).

Who are the PCAF Policy Service Ambassadors?

The PSAs are PCAF technical staff from different divisions, who aside from daily tasks took on the challenge of being the agency ambassadors.

They serve as the PCAF Innovative Consultation for Agriculture and Fishery Policy Reforms and Engagement (iCARE) Program carriers, which meant that they would undertake all activities relative to the operationalization of the agency iCARE services – WeAdVoCATE, WeCoNSULT, WeTRACK, and WeINSPIRE.

Together, they make up the PSAs Team that represents PCAF and its interest and attend as resource persons in various consultative meetings, forums, and trainings. 

Janielle Aretha Pelonio, PSA Team Lead on Fruits and Vegetables, revealed that her inspiration in becoming a policy service ambassador is the sad reality of Filipino farmers remaining poor compared to their foreign counterparts. 

“The policies being advocated by PCAF to help our farmers improve their lot keep me motivated in contributing in my own small ways to enhance these policies. It further inspires me to know that I am part of the team that helps address the challenges being faced by the agriculture industry,” Pelonio said. 

She also mentioned that there is no greater fulfillment in this line of work other than receiving sincere gratitude from those she assisted and having positive feedback on the policies she helped endorsed. 

“At the end of the day, it satisfies me to know that I became an instrument in relaying to the farmers the Department’s banner programs that will surely benefit them,” Pelonio added.

Functions and Qualities of PCAF Ambassadors

In order to become a PSA, one must understand the functions and qualities needed to capacitate the agency, partners and stakeholders.

On February 15-16, 2021, a workshop was held among the PSA candidates to communicate the following functions and qualities:

To strengthen and boost the creativity, performance and outputs of the PSA Teams, all Division and Section Chiefs are also enjoined to undertake the following tasks:

  1. Perform measurable tasks that add value to the PSA Teams’ capacities and resources;
  2. Provide technical leadership and support to the PSA Teams or improved regular supervisory tasks; and
  3. Manage personnel and administrative matters relative to the interface between and among operational units under the PSA System.

“With these functions and qualities, the PCAF Policy Service Ambassadorship System (PSAS) is expected to contribute to the enhanced delivery of policy services and improve the overall performance of the agency in its major final outputs,” OIC Exec. Dir. Battad stated. | JCL