On January 30, 1987,   the  Agricultural and   Fishery  Councils were established under  Executive Order 116 and  created as an advisory body   at  the regional,  provincial, city/municipal levels, primarily to promote private  sector participation in  agricultural and  fishery development  through consultation, advocacy, planning, monitoring, program and project  evaluation.  .At  present  there are 16 RAFCs, 80 PAFCs,  21 ICCAFCs/HUCs and 1,605 MAFCs and CAFCs.  The AFCs  is  the SPIRIT of the agriculture and fisheries communities:

S     Supports  and sustains  development initiatives in agriculture and fisheries.
P     Promotes  awareness of, and takes appropriate action on issues, problems and concerns of agriculture and          fiheries.
 I      Institutionalizes  private sector involvement and private-government partnership. 
R    Reinforces  spirit of  volunteerism  service partnership, accountability and transparency performance         excellence among stakeholders.
 I      Intensifies feedback and dialogue on policies, programs, projects and strategies.
T    Transforms  power relationships among key stakeholders.


LEGAL BASES

Section 15 of Article XIII, the Constitution states that:

“the state shall respect  the role of  independent  people’s organizations  to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interest and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. . .”

Section 16 of Article XIII, the Constitution states that:

“the  right of  the  people  and  their  organization  to effective and reasonable  participation at  all  levels   of  social,  political  and  economic  decision making shall not be abridged.  The state shall by law facilitate the establishment of   adequate consultation mechanism. . .”

E.O. 116 (1987) mandated  NAFC to:

  • Act as advisory body to ensure success of  DA programs and projects
  • Provide the consultative and feedback mechanism for continuing discussions of  agricultural and fishery issues and concerns
  • Facilitate organization of  AFCs

RA 8435 (AFMA) strengthened  private   sector   participation   in  the modernization process:

Section 2, provides that:

“It  is the policy of the state to enable those who  belong to the agriculture and fisheries sectors to participate and share in the fruits of development and growth in a manner that utilizes the nation’s resources”        

Section 3, provides that:

"The state  shall promote  people   empowerement by enabling all citizens through direct participation or through their elected, or chosen representatives the opportunity to participate in policy  formulation  and  decision  making  by  establishing  the appropriate mechanisms by giving them access to information. . . ”

The IRR of  RA 8435 (DA Administrative Order # 6 series of 1998), NAFC was strengthened to assist the DA in the broad-based monitoring and coordination of the agricultural  and fisheries modernization process.  The NAFC was tasked to:

  • Serve as the integrative and consultative structure for the inter-agency and inter-sectoral collaboration in agricultural and fishery modernization and;
  • Provide for the automatic membership of the AFC Chairs in the Local Development Council

 Other policy issuances:

DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2001-121
Inclusion of Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) Budget in the Local Government Units  (LGUs) Annual  Appropriation.

DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2000-63
Reiteration of DILG Memorandum Ciculars 97-271 and 98-200 Re: LGU Participation in the AFC and Representatives of the AFCs in the  LDCs

DILG Memorandum Circular No. 98-200
Representation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Councils in the Local Government Councils

DILG Memorandum Circular No. 97-271
LGU  Participation  in  the  Agricultural  and  Fishery  Councils (AFCs)  of   the    Department of     Agriculture  and and   Institutionalization of AFC in the Local Development Councils (LDCs).

DA Memorandum Circular dated 17 January 2000
            Inclusion of  RAFC activities in the DA  Annual Budget Planning  and Program

DA Memorandum Circular  No. 4 dated 24 April 2003
            Reiteration of inclusion of  RAFC activities  in the  DA Annual Budget Planning and Program

COMPOSITION
              The AFC is a partnership  between government and private sector at a ratio of 60-40.  The composition of the AFC at the different  levels are as follows:

Regional  Agricultural and Fishery Council  (RAFC)
             PAFC Chairpersons
             Independent  component cities AFC Chairpersons
             Highly urbanized cities Chairpersons
             Regional FARMC representatives
             Representatives of government  agencies

Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (PAFC)
              PAFC Chairpersons

City Agricultural and Fishery Councils Chairpersons
              Independent  component cities AFC Chairpersons
              Barangays AFC Chairpersons
              RProvincial  FARMC representatives
              Representatives of  government  agencies

City/Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFC/MAFC)
              Chairpersons of city/municipal
              Barangay AFC Chairpersons
              Local Government  sector representatives
              Municipal FARMC representatives
              Representatives of government  agencies

An active AFC serves as the “VOICE” of farmers/fishers and other stakeholders:

Vehicle for Participation

                    - Conducts monthly meetings to discuss and resolve problems, issues and concerns confronting agriculture                      and fisheries.

                    - Recommends programs, projects that are based on the peoples / communities needs;

                    - Bring to the attention of concerned agencies critical information that affects program, project                       implementation.
           
Opens up opportunities for market, livelihood and personal growth

                    - Endorses projects for funding under the NAFC livelihood programs;

                    - Undertakes promotional activities such as agri-fairs and market promotion activities.
           
Information Source

                    - Generates and accesses international , national and local agricultural information that are critical to                        facilitate discussions in the AFCs.
           
Channel of Communication

                    - Be the channel for continuing communication / discussions between the government and private,                        the national and local, and among stakeholders/sections.
           
Empowers communities and stakeholders to influence and share control over development initiatives

                    - Recommends, programs, projects, and policies based on the poeples / communities needs;

                    - Assists in the planning and budgeting of the DA and LGU;

                    - Identifies and assesses the diverse needs and resouces of the area, in consultation with government                        and NGOs to gbring about collective action for agriculture and fisheries development.

The AFCs are not only the voice but the “BRIDGES” to development:

Builder of local capacities

                    - Identifies capability development needs and works for its funding.

R
ecommends policies and strategies         
           
Integrator of development initiatives in the local level/community
           
Designs programs and projects, initiates programs and projects that address the needs of the community/people

Governance mechanisms to stimulate responsiveness, openness, transparency and   accountability

                    - Participates in the DA-RFU Management Committee meetings, BAC and other committees.

                    - Institutionalizes private and government partnership..

Evaluates projects/programs and policies and gives feedback on how these are implemented  and how they affect the  lives of their community members.

                    - Monitors and evaluates the implementation of DA and its attached agencies programs and projects.

                    - Prepares monthly reports and submit them to AFC, NAFC and concerned offices.

Serves as link between the LGU and DA and between LGU and Stakeholders

                    - AFC became the link between the DA and the LGU when the devolution took place.

                    - Set up a feedback mechanism to facilitate forward and backward flow of information.

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