Photo shows Exec. Dir. Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona leads the ribbon cutting ceremony of PCAF Exhibit at the agency’s lobby in celebration of its 4th anniversary. (JC)

With its vision of being the apex policy making body in agriculture and fisheries development, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) celebrated its 4th year of existence with a fitting theme: “PCAF in the 4front” on June 27 to 30, 2017.

Heeding the strict directive of Sec. Emmanuel Piñol on doing away with lavish celebration, PCAF commemorated its anniversary with simplicity, as it kicks off its 3-day revelry with a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Daniel Allan Samonte. In his homily, he emphasized the true purpose of our life which is to stripped off everything unnecessary for the next life. The ceremonial ribbon cutting followed the thanksgiving mass. Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona, together with her Executive Assistant Engr. Edgar Cornelio led the ceremony attended by PCAF staff.

On the second day of the celebration, a knowledge unloading day was done spearheaded by the Knowledge Management Section (KMS) under the Planning, Monitoring and Knowledge Management Division (PMKMD).

Knowledge Unloading Day or KUD is a knowledge sharing activity being introduced by KMS, with the main aim of institutionalizing a learning culture within and among PCAF staff and stakeholders. For the month of June, two KUDs were lined up, in time for the commemoration of the agency anniversary.

Understanding SOGIE or Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression was the first KUD in the list. The orientation on SOGIE was discussed by Atty. Jazz Tamayo, currently the President of Rainbow Rights Project, Inc (R-Rights). According to its official Facebook page, R-Rights is a group of lesbian and gay lawyers and activists who are dedicated to promoting a rational discourse on the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs). It is also the only alternative lawyering non government organization (NGO) catering to sexual minorities and the only LGBT organization primarily utilizing law, legal procedures and its mechanisms to promote LGBT rights.

Before the orientation started, participants were given an activity wherein the attendees must fill up the bingo sheet by finding fellow participants who fit in the description of each box. Four concepts were highlighted during the discussion; assigned sex at birth, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

According to Rachelle Ayllon, Chief of KMS, understanding SOGIE is important if we are really serious with our commitment in achieving inclusive development. Because inclusive development is creating an environment that upholds equal opportunities for everyone, as well as making everyone both a partner and a beneficiary of development.

On the third day of the anniversary week, PMKMD-KMS, in an effort to create awareness on climate change and the environment, hosted another KUD in the form of film showing. The film entitled “Lakbay2Love”, produced by Erasto Film was about the environment, featuring local talents that promotes biking as a form of exercise and hobby that will hopefully help ease down the carbon footprints being left behind by motorized vehicles. The film was endorsed by the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Commission for Women (PCW).

To cap the 4th anniversary celebration, the Administrative, Financial and Management Division (AFMD) Chief Fidelia De Asis-Andres and the Human Resource Development Section (HRDS) Chief Braulio Castro Jr. together with PCAF’s Exec. Dir. Cayona and Deputy Executive Director Engr. Alexander Daroya handed over certificates of loyalty to PCAF staff in recognition of their continuous and satisfactory service to the government for at least 10 years and beyond.

This year’s awardees include the recently retired employees namely: Sesinando Olgado, Manuel Jarmin, Marcia Lanuza, Susan Foronda, and Agapita Agustin. Elgie Namia was also awarded for her 40 years in government service, while the awardees for 35 years in service were Maria Riza Pamplona, Julieta Opulencia, Irene Camba, DED Daroya, Atanacia Coronel, Francia Macalintal, and Endri Songcuya. Eleven employees were also awarded for serving the government for 25 years. They were Estrella Tulay, Celso Mateo, Jr., Troadio Montemayor, Braulio Castro, Jr., Lucila Cruz, Conchita Del Rosario, Merlyn Galdonez, Michael Rey Lazaro, Recto Villamayor and Catherine Viray. For serving the government for 15 years, Jesus Rentosa, Jr. was the lone awardee, while there was no awardee for the 10 years in service.– JD