The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) partnered with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) to mainstream volunteerism in the agri-fishery sector.

In a meeting on January 19, 2022, PCAF, OIC Executive Director Liza G. Battad and PNVSCA Executive Director Donald Gawe discussed and detailed their plans to engage and strengthen the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) nationwide. 

The PNVSCA will include the A&F sector in their local registry to determine the baseline data of volunteerism in the country. PCAF, on the other hand, will participate in the online registry called the Volunteer Engagement in the Public Sector (VEPS) Portal. 

“Our strategy now is to really mainstream volunteerism in every sector. Actually we are very lucky for the agriculture and fishery sector, merong PCAF who already have an existing database. Para magkaroon tayo ng model among the sectors,” said Exec. Dir. Gawe. 

VEPS Portal is an online platform for collecting, processing, and generating reports on the engagement of local volunteers by national government agencies and local government units. 

Exec. Dir. Battad pointed out the importance of the AFCs as the agency calls them as private sector-volunteers. The AFCs, both national and local, have been participating in specific areas in the Department through engaging in policy development. The AFCs also entice other private sector participation and look into the effect of DA’s investment in the agriculture and fisheries growth.

PNVSCA is also committed to advocating and helping promote the OneDA network sectoral volunteering services across the value chain, with PCAF as the apex agency. 

This will bring forth an array of volunteering services beyond policy development that will recognize and heighten the support of volunteers during calamities, educational response, social work, and other community extension services. 

Drawing from the volunteer management experiences of PCAF, the PNVSCA will include A&F in their research agenda, which they will advocate to universities and colleges. The research agenda for A&F will help outline a clear framework of AFC’s involvement in nation-building and prioritize research on their contributions through the policies they help create. 

The PCAF’s Volunteer Management Database will be cross-posted on PNVSCA’s website as part of the agency’s growing network of volunteers. A memorandum of understanding will be forged in the coming months to officially seal this partnership for the benefit of our AFC volunteers. | JC, with reports from Partnership Development Division