June 6, 2023

Volunteers of the agriculture and fisheries councils (AFCs), an organization composed of individuals from both the private and government sectors nationwide, continue to prove that anyone could serve the public by having their voices heard in the development process.
To recognize and give awards to outstanding AFC chairpersons and secretariat-coordinators for their accomplishments particularly in bringing change to the agri-fishery sector through volunteerism, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) annually holds the National Agriculture and Fisheries Volunteers’ Day.
“We are here, ready to help the farmers,” Central Luzon Regional AFC Chairperson Francisco Hernandez said during the 5th Volunteers’ Day held on Jan. 9.
According to PCAF, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, AFCs have volunteer partners who render selfless and dedicated service to perform their duties in the council since 1987.
As part of the Volunteers’ Day, PCAF recognized the outstanding secretariat-coordinators and chairpersons of the AFCs at the municipal, provincial, and regional levels for the 5th Search for Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Secretariat-Coordinators.
This year, PCAF also awarded the first Outstanding Advisory Special Bodies Women Leader to Emelinda Dela Cruz from Western Visayas.
Sec. William Dar, who served as chairperson-coordinator of the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council in 1999, proposed that the PCAF consultative committees must be integrated with the DA Banner Programs.
“This consultative process, this engagement of volunteers from all over the country is important. The synergy of PCAF committees with the banner programs must be strengthened,” he said.
Dar also proposed for the active participation of AFC chairpersons at the important committees and programs of the regional field offices and local government units.
“At 65 to 70 (years of age), your wisdom is still very significant, your experience will continue to be recognized, and your ideas will always be welcomed,” the secretary said to the AFC members.
Involvement in the AFCs provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to exercise their rights to participate in the social, political, and economic decision-making as enshrined in the Constitution.
Based on Executive Order 116, s. 1987, PCAF is mandated to establish a nationwide network of AFCs to serve as the forum for consultative and continuing discussions within the agriculture and fisheries sector. – DA release