The Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) from Luzon A Cluster adopted various policy resolutions on July 22 as a support to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) programs and projects and to tailor-fit the requirements of the cluster regions in response to the implementation of agri-fishery reforms of the Department.

Luzon A Cluster Congress was participated by more than 100 Regional and Provincial AFC Chairpersons, Coordinators, and Regional Sectoral Committee Chairpersons from the Cordillera Autonomous Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region and Central Luzon Region, and Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) representatives via blended meeting.

The event serves as an information-sharing platform for the AFCs in the cluster region, where they can engage in discussions on local agriculture and fisheries concerns and development in their respective areas and come up with various resolutions about the programs and projects of DA.

Resolutions were based on the topics presented on Rice Competitive Enhancement Funds (RCEF), the Mandanas Ruling, Farm Consolidation and Clustering Program (F2C2), and Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS).

Other resolutions include the call on addressing agriculture and fishery concerns such as high prices of input, expanded access to post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads, budgetary and funding concerns, disparity on agricultural data, strengthening agricultural linkages, food safety, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and additional support on emerging industries such as the rabbit industry.

Situation reports on the current status of the agri-fishery industry were also presented per region to provide an overview to the participants and provide insights on what particular issues should be prioritized.

Moreover, Program Director for Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program (F2C2) Shandy Hubilla discussed the program in depth during the congress. This is the program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) which aims to mainstream, promote, and support clustering and consolidation as a strategy to all banner programs and enhance productivity and income of farmers and fishers.

While PCAF Executive Assistant Cyril Soliaban discussed the agency’s Policy Service Ambassadors (PSAs). His discussion includes PSAs’ roles, functions, qualities, scope of work, operational framework, team organization, and deployment, as well as the interface dashboard to orient the participants on the role that they play in PCAF in general.

DA Director for Field Operations Service Bernadette San Juan on the other hand discussed the Mandanas-Garcia ruling and how it will affect the programs, projects, and role of DA in general and also discussed briefly the gradual devolution of services to the Local Government Units (LGU’s) and the transition plan of DA.

PCAF will also facilitate the Congresses in other island clusters. | CCB