The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), in partnership with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), conducted a volunteer management training entitled “Capacitating the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector on Volunteering for Development” on September 28 to 30, 2022. 

The three-day training focused on harnessing the potential of volunteerism for national development, with sessions on strategy development, partnership building, program planning, volunteer recruitment, volunteer mobilization, volunteer support, and monitoring and evaluation. 

Sixty-three Agricultural and Fisheries Council (AFC) coordinators, members of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (FARMC), and PCAF employees participated in the event. 

“Importante po ang ating mga AFCs, especially in collecting data for policy formulation and planning. During disasters, sila din po ang inaasahan natin sa pagbibigay ng information on damages kaya maganda na nabibigyan sila ng kaukulang training,” said PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James Gawe.

Search for 2020-2021 Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers awardee Clemencia Lapas and Terra Verde Ecofarm President Ericson Atanacio also shared their volunteer engagement experiences and partnership-building strategies in the agri-fishery sector. 

According to PCAF Executive Director III Nestor Domenden, “Volunteerism is heroism”. He also stated that the event’s participants will surely create impactful engagement in their respective localities and promote the commitment of volunteers in government’s programs, projects, and activities. 

PCAF has recently partnered with PNVSCA to mainstream volunteerism in the agri-fishery sector, with PNVSCA planning to include the agri-fishery sector volunteers in their local registry and PCAF participating in PNVSCA’s Volunteer Engagement in the Public Sector (VEPS) Portal, which collects, processes, and generates reports on local volunteer engagement by government agencies and units. 

“Now that we have a partnership with PNVSCA, PCAF hopes to strengthen and maintain this unique mechanism by creating a feasible plan and incorporating volunteer management strategies into our programs, projects, and activities. This would inspire and ensure sustained engagement and create all-inclusive volunteerism at our sectoral, local, and even national plans,” said PCAF OIC-Deputy Executive Director Julieta Opulencia.