RAFC 2 Chairperson Isidro Acosta, Sr. signed the joint resolution along with other RAFC chairpersons after the thorough discussion on PCAF’s draft 2018 plan and budget proposal.

Chairpersons from the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries’ (PCAF) Advisory Special Bodies (ASBs) signed a joint resolution endorsing the agency’s draft plan and budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 subject to their recommendation to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on March 9, 2017 at the Department of Agriculture (DA) New Building in Quezon City.

The joint resolution was the result of PCAF’s Civil Society Organization (CSO) Consultation on the agency’s draft plan and budget for next year. The agency took into account the inputs and comments generated from its ASBs.

The consultation is in accordance with the government’s policy on Participatory Development which ensures the meaningful participation of CSO in policymaking, planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation through the issuance of DBM National Budget Circular No. 536, dated January 31.

Headed by OIC Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona, PCAF key employees answered and noted the suggestions of the eight NSC and 14 regional AFC (RAFC) chairpersons, along with the RAFC coordinator present in the consultation.

“The government recognizes the importance of engaging CSOs in the planning and budgeting, monitoring and implementation. As an advocate of private sector participation, we at PCAF are always eager to engage our stakeholders in the process of undertaking important activities that will define our plan and budget,” said OIC Cayona in her message.

She also added that stakeholders’ participation is a vital way in promoting good governance, transparency and accountability especially in the allocation and utilization of public funds.

On the other hand, one the concerns raised on the undertaking was the participation of provincial and municipal AFCs (MAFC) in the planning, budgeting and monitoring processes at the local levels, particularly at the DA Regional Field Offices.

The volunteer-partners also suggested to include the MAFCs in the local monitoring teams and likewise to include capability building activities like trainings on planning, budgeting and monitoring, as well as public finance processes for the municipal AFCs, as well as the regional and provincial levels.

The proposed budget for the participation of Regional Sectoral Chairperson at the National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees meetings, and the purchase of vehicles and laptops for AFCs were included in the recommendation. They have also suggested the provision of insurance covering cases of natural death in addition to accidents, and the incentives of 487 municipal AFC coordinators.

To keep them abreast of the latest DBM issuances and be enlightened in the preparation of FY 2018 Plan and Budget Proposal, PCAF also presented the DBM’s guidelines. -JC