MES Chief Cyril Soliaban shows to the representatives of the ASBs the revised PMT guidelines.

New provisions added to the existing Participatory Monitoring and Tracking (PMT) guidelines were presented and discussed to the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) Advisory Special Bodies (ASBs) on February 8, 2018 at PCAF Apacible Hall in Quezon City.

Among the added procedures were the conduct of entry conferences aside from the usual exit conferences, taking initial analysis of the project plans compared to the accomplishments, and the involvement and consultation of the AFCs who are part of the Monitoring Team (MT) prior to the conduct of the activity.

The initial guidelines were first presented to the National Agriculture and Fisheries (NAF) Council Budget Committee early of 2017 and was pilot tested the same year.

Under Republic Act 8435, the NAF Council is mandated to conduct broad-based monitoring and coordination of the agriculture and fisheries modernization process.

PCAF, as its secretariat agency, facilitates the process by ensuring participation of the stakeholders as required by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Order 542, Series of 2007 authorizing the ASBs to monitor and validate DA- and PCAF-funded projects based on the priority set by the Secretary.

In the PMT activity, PCAF made sure that members of the National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees (NSSCCs) and the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) who were not involved before in the initial crafting of the guidelines were properly represented to review and suggest modifications to create clearer methodology and monitoring tools of the revised PMT system.

“This is an offshoot of the recently held Performance Review and Planning Workshop in Subic. The AFCs want to know the provisions of the guidelines because they have been basically involved in the process,” said Cyril Soliaban, PCAF’s Monitoring and Evaluation Section (MES) Chief.

The MES Chief also added that the activity ensures effective, reasonable and meaningful participation in the agriculture and fishery development process, and also strengthen the monitoring and coordination functions of PCAF.

“As I understand, kailangan nating i-strengthen ang ating participatory monitoring. Saan ba tayo pwedeng magtagpo? Ano bang pwede nating gawin kung saan magkakaroon ng impact ang ating mga ginagawa?” said PCAF Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona.

Planning, Monitoring and Knowledge Management Division (PMKMD) Chief Estrella Tulay also presented the PMT challenges and issues encountered last year.

On the other hand, NAF Council Budget Committee Chairperson Dr. Rufina Salas also suggested that after the PMT teams submitted their findings and recommendation on the agriculture and fishery projects and programs, they should be given feedback on what actions were taken or to be undertaken.

PMKMD Chief Tulay admitted that there is a need to improve the method of report dissemination. However, she mentioned that a lot of the recommendations raised in the monitoring reports relative to infrastructure have been inputted in the procurement and project guidelines developed by the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Committee (AFMeC).

In an interview, Region 5 AFMech Chairperson Engr. Raul Carreras and Region 9 Municipal AFC Chairperson Felix Amarilla, who were part of their region’s monitoring team, admitted that it was their first time to see the guidelines and were glad to know that they can suggest on the updated procedures.

“Before we were guided by PCAF monitoring staff during and after the activity. Ngayon, mas naging malinaw sa amin yung mga rules na kailangang i-follow at kung ano yung mga obligations namin upang mapaganda ang mga reports, ma-address ang mga problems and concerns, at lalong mapabuti ang pagmomonitor,” said Engr. Carreras. – JC