PCAF Exec. Dir. Cayona (left) and Keep Hope Alive Chairperson Gamol (right) pose with the winners of the 2018 Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Secretariat-Coordinators. Winners are (2nd to the left) PAFC Chairperson Betque, PAFC Secretariat-Coordinator Querubin, RAFC Chairperson Layug, MAFC Secretariat-Coordinator Licos, and MAFC Chairperson Patindol (insert).

NVD recognizes and highlights the efforts and contributions of PCAF ASBs in the agriculture and fishery development processes. 

The Outstanding Chairpersons and Coordinators of the Advisory Special Bodies (ASBs) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) were awarded at the 4th National Volunteers’ Day held in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis oriental on December 6, 2018.

The event was anchored on the theme “Volunteers: Championing the Filipino farmers’ and fisherfolk’s aspirations.”

The annual National Volunteers’ Day (NVD) is part of PCAF’s observance of the country’s National Volunteer Month.

The ASBs are composed of industry-related private sectors and government agencies at the national, regional, provincial, and municipal levels that provide services for the formulation of sound policies and programs for sustained development.

“As volunteers in the agriculture and fishery industry, championing the sector is not easy. There will be voices that would tell you that you are wasting your time, energy, and effort, but I tell you don’t listen to it. Instead you have to listen to the small voice that says ‘May magagawa ako at kailangan ko itong isagawa’”, said PCAF Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona.

Northern Mindanao Regional Executive Director Carlene Collado commended the ASBs in their effort to champion the aspiration of farmers and fisherfolks as it “sums up their fervor in serving the industry”. He also noted that the accomplishments of the ASBs serve as inspiration on how the government can address the multi-challenges of the industry.

The celebration also highlighted the awarding of the Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Secretariat-Coordinators. On the other hand, it is also a venue to give proper and due recognition on the volunteer-partners who have rendered exemplary contributions and services to the Council.

Outreach activities a day before the NVD were also pursued during the event. It includes medical mission in Marawi City, feeding activity for the children in the orphanage and elderly in the caring centers in Cagayan de Oro. An exhibit featuring the past winners of the Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Secretariat-Coordinators were also displayed outside the venue.

Honoring the exceptional works of the AFCs

The announcement of the winners of this year’s Outstanding AFC Chairpersons and Outstanding AFC Secretariat-Coordinators sparks inspirations and renews confidence among the current and new AFC volunteers to do more and give their best.

Evelia Licos of Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental bagged the Outstanding Municipal AFC (MAFC) Secretariat-Coordinator. During her term as MAFC Secretariat-Coordinator, she developed a close relationship with the MAFC members that inspired the latter to be more active in the conduct of its activities. Her resourcefulness earned her the respect of the council members.

Marcelino Patindol of Claveria, Misamis Oriental is this year’s Outstanding MAFC Chairperson. Among his initiated and adopted Resolutions were Resolution number 001, series of 2017, which requested the municipal government of Claveria to pass an ordinance mandating the farmer constituents to set aside five to 10 percent of their farmland to be planted with crops that are Climate Change resilient.

Redempta Querubin of Quezon Province garnered this year’s Outstanding Provincial AFC (PAFC) Secretariat-Coordinator. She has been instrumental in making the PAFC an active and effective partner of the provincial government in agricultural development planning, project implementation and monitoring, policy formulation, and selection and validation of Quezon Medalyang Awardees for over 25 years.

Aurelio Betque of Sultan Kudarat got the Outstanding PAFC Chairperson award. He initiated PAFC Resolution number 03, series of 2016 recommending former President Simeon Benigno Aquino III to grant real estate tax amnesty to El Niño-affected farmers in 2016. As a result, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of South Cotabato issued an SP Ordinance Number 579 extending the tax relief to delinquent real property owners with respect to interest.

As one of the prime movers in the inception of the AFC which started in Northern Mindanao, Prof. Edgardo Layug was chosen as this year’s Outstanding Regional AFC (RAFC) Chairperson. He led the gatherings of small group of farmer key leaders to discuss issues on rice and corn production and other crop price stability which eventually led to the creation of the AFC which then replicated nationwide.

New categories revealed

Aside from the annual awards given to remarkable AFC chairpersons and secretariat-coordinators, PCAF announced two new categories. These are the Outstanding NSSCC Chairpersons and the Outstanding ASBs Women Leaders.

The Outstanding NSSCC Chairpersons aims to recognize and provide awards for the outstanding accomplishments of the ASBs at the national level.
The Search will cover the chairpersons of all the committees and its sub-committees.

Furthermore, the Outstanding ASBs Women Leaders also aims to encourage women participation in the decision-making processes by stimulating their interest to take on and assume on leadership positions in an environment dominated by men. The nominees must not be a national winner of the Search for Outstanding Rural Women, Outstanding AFC Chairperson or Gawad Saka. (See www.pcaf.da.gov.ph for the criteria and other qualifications) -JC