Zamboanga City — The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) concluded a three-day training session on Competency Advancement in Policymaking and Engagement (CAPE) for the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

More than 20 participants from the island provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Basilan attended the event on May 13 to 15, 2024 in Zamboanga City.

Professors Simeon Ilago, Charlie Cabotaje, and Atty. Mark Anthony Gamboa from the University of the Philippines—National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) shared their expertise on the policy development process, stakeholder engagement, policy resolution writing, and parliamentary rules and procedures.

“I have learned to identify policy problems and prioritize them according to the feasibility of solutions,” said Mohammad Abdulla, a participant from Basilan.

The training emphasized practical approaches to addressing local agricultural and fishery issues, ensuring that policy recommendations are grounded in the region’s needs and challenges.

“During the three-day training, I have learned to look for alternative solutions using the problem tree analysis,” said Sitti Kulsum Hairol, municipal coordinator from Tawi-Tawi.

PCAF, the policymaking arm of the Department of Agriculture, aims to create a more inclusive and responsive agricultural policy environment by equipping farmer and fisherfolk leaders with policy development skills and enabling them to have their voices heard by policymakers.


Marking as the 15th leg of a nationwide CAPE training series initiated in 2022, the program empowers AFCs across various regions with the tools and knowledge to effectively contribute to agricultural and fishery policymaking processes.

The final leg of this training series is scheduled to take place in the Zamboanga Peninsula in September 2024. | PDD Chief Melinda Quiñones, photos courtesy of PDD (JC)