PCAF OIC ED Opulencia (photo 1, left) and CAR RAFC Chair Palunan (photo 2, right) join the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas in Baguio City.

The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office in Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-RFO-CAR), in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), hosted the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas Media Forum on June 18, 2024, in Baguio City.

The forum is a part of the synchronized nationwide dialogues that aim to communicate the Marcos administration’s government programs, services, projects, policies, and priorities, fostering transparency and public engagement.

Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan, DA-RFO-CAR Regional Executive Director, presented an overview of the DA’s programs and achievements in the Cordillera region. 

She announced a notable 6.9% growth in the regional economy in 2023, attributing this success to various agricultural programs and support systems.

“Our plans and budget for agriculture are anchored in the Philippine Development Plan; our goal is to modernize the agriculture sector,” Dawayan stated.

Dawayan also shared that over PhP40 million in vouchers for hybrid seeds, biofertilizers, and inorganic fertilizers have been distributed to 8,160 farmers, bolstering agricultural productivity.

PCAF OIC Executive Director Julieta Opulencia underscored the role of private sector involvement in agri-fishery policy formulation and program monitoring.

“The role of Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) is to propose solutions during their meetings. They present their issues and recommendations, which we then forward to the appropriate government agencies for resolution,” she explained.

CAR RAFC Chairperson Ryan Palunan called for increased opportunities and engagement for the youth in the agricultural sector.

“Strengthening youth participation in the policy agenda is crucial. We need to devise strategies to entice the younger generation. We will discuss this further at the stakeholders’ conference tomorrow,” he said.

PCAF and DA-CAR will hold the AFC Luzon Stakeholders Conference in Baguio City from June 19 to 21, 2024.

The event, with the theme “Bridging Gaps: Connecting Producers to Markets for Sustainable Rural Development,” will convene over 200 AFC volunteer leaders, regional executive officers, coordinators, and provincial agriculturists from Luzon. | PDD Chairperson Melinda Quiñones