Recognizing the efforts of its nationwide volunteer-partners towards the development of the agriculture and fisheries sector, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), the policy-making agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), celebrated the 7th National Agriculture and Fisheries Volunteers’ Day, with the theme “AFCs Finding Solutions beyond Limits” on March 24, 2022.
The annual event acknowledges the achievements and commitment of the private sector in helping DA realize its goal of a food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk, through PCAF’s participatory policy making and monitoring and tracking activities, even in times of pandemic.
DA Secretary William Dar also expressed his gratitude towards the nationwide network of private sector-led consultative councils—the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs), now the collective name for the Regional AFCs (RAFCs), National Banner Program Committees (NBPCs), and the Other Priority Program Committees (OPPCs), for being the solid partners of DA in bringing its programs, projects, and activities closer to the stakeholders and key industry players.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to all the volunteer-leaders and members of the AFCs for another year of remarkable service to this country’s farmers and fishers. Also, I would like to extend my congratulations to all the awardees tonight for a job well done,” Secretary Dar said.
He also mentioned that the spirit of the AFCs is emblematic of the spirit of our country, signifying the values of hard work, civic generosity, and the fullest participation in nation-building.
“I know that each of you believes strongly in these values. That is why for decades now, the AFCs have been an essential component of the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to ensure national food security and real economic opportunities for our farmers and fishers,” he added.
Even in the height of the pandemic, the AFCs remained committed in addressing pressing issues on various agri-fishery industries and commodities through online meetings.
On the other hand, the Agriculture Secretary applauded the efforts of Ana Patricia Non, progenitor of the Community Pantry Movement, for coordinating with some of the farm integrators and cooperatives that the Department has been supporting.
In her inspirational message, Non reminded everyone of the important roles of the farmers and fishers in providing food for all Filipinos’ tables.
“Hindi kailangang maging mayaman o maging sikat para makatulong. Alam nating hindi ganoon kayaman ang ating mga farmers pero nakukuha nilang magdonate ng excess produce nila para makatulong sa mga nangangailangan,” Non said remembering the first donors of the Maginhawa Community Pantry.
Secretary Dar also led the oath-taking ceremony of the new set of RAFC and NBPC Chairpersons for the Calendar Year 2022.
Honoring their dedication and volunteerism
As the highlight of the event, PCAF presented the 18 national prestigious awards:
- RAFC Ilocos Region (Regional Sectoral Committee on Poultry, Livestock and Corn)– RAFC Sectoral Excellence Award
For exemplifying excellence in policy-making and engagement of public and private sector partners towards the modernization of Philippine agriculture
- Regional AFC BARMM and Regional AFC Zamboanga Peninsula – Policy Achiever Award
RAFC Level for their Councils’ outstanding productivity towards resolving agricultural issues and concerns at the regional level
- Provincial AFC Palawan– Policy Achiever Award
PAFC Level for its Council’s outstanding productivity towards resolving agricultural issues and concerns at the provincial level
- Regional AFC Cagayan Valley– Social Mobilization Partner Award
For its significant contributions in gaining civil society organization partners for the co-implementation of DA programs and projects
- Regional AFC Bicol Region– Engagement Champion Award-Regional and Local AFCs
For its Councils’ valuable contribution in raising awareness about PCAF and expanding its vast network of volunteers
- Regional AFC Caraga – Eagle Eye Award
For its exhibited utmost dedication and diligence in validating the impact of DA programs and projects on the ground
- Regional AFC Cordillera Administrative Region – Women and Youth Advocate Award-RAFC
For fostering inclusivity and diversity (youth and women) in its Council
- NBPC on Fisheries and Aquaculture,
- NBPC on High Value Crops (HVC)-Coffee and Cacao,
- NBPC on HVC-Fiber,
- NBPC on HVC-Fruits and Vegetables,
- NBPC on HVC-Rubber, and
- OPPC on Committee on Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (CAFMech)– Policy Achiever Award-NBPC/OPPC
For their Committees’ outstanding productivity towards resolving agricultural issues and concerns at the national level
- NBPC ON HVC-Fiber – Engagement Champion Award-NBPC/OPPC
For the Committee’s valuable contribution in raising awareness to PCAF and growing its vast network of volunteers
- NBPC ON HVC-Fruits & Vegetables– Women and Youth Advocate Award-NBPC/OPPC
For fostering inclusivity and diversity (youth and women) in the Committee
- NBPC ON HVC-Fiber and NBPC on HVC-Fruits and Vegetables– Change Maker of the Year-NBPC/OPPC
For Committees’ outstanding performances in 2021 and their role as difference makers in the local agri-fishery sector
Cash prizes were also given to the awardees to support them in pioneering initiatives and projects that will contribute to the transformation of Philippine Agriculture and provide for all Filipino farmers and fisherfolk of Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita. | JCL