Written by: Sheena Alcala

The PNVSCA and the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) conducted a collaborative meeting on January 21, 2022 (via Zoom) to discuss possible partnership activities between the two Agencies. The meeting started with the PCAF discussion of its broad-based participatory development mechanisms and processes in the agriculture and fisheries sector through the Agricultural and Fisheries Councils (AFCs) and its major activities.

According to Mr. Winsor Gaudario of PCAF, the AFC activities include consultation activities, crafting of policy resolutions, sectoral issues and concerns, policy agenda, monitoring and evaluation, annual planning and performance review, recruitment and expansion of AFC membership, capacity building, forging partnerships, and rewards and recognition modalities. To give a better understanding of the AFC activities, Mr. Gaudario also gave a walk-through on the AFC Membership Registration and the AFC Membership Dashboard with database and graphical representations of its registered members.

Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Regulations and concurrent PCAF OIC-Executive Director Liza G. Battad, Ph. D added that PCAF’s intention for initiating the meeting is to be congruent with PNVSCA’s plans and policies when it comes to volunteerism

On the part of PNVSCA, Executive Director Donald Gawe, explained the Agency’s mandate and emphasized on its efforts to mainstream volunteerism as a strategy to achieve sectoral outcomes. Ms. Ela Sarmago and Mr. Raymart Maruquez briefed the group on the statistical development initiatives of the agency particularly the Volunteer Engagement in the Public Sector (VEPS) Portal, which aims to collect, process and generate reports on the engagement of local volunteers by the national government agencies (NGAs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local government units (LGUs) in implementing its programs, projects and activities, including employee volunteering.

Realizing the need for sustained efforts to mainstream volunteerism as a strategy for the AF sector, the two agencies agreed to formalize their partnership by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding or a Partnership Agreement. Ms. Melinda Quinones of PCAF wrapped-up the discussion in her closing message by presenting the possible areas of cooperation between the two agencies which are: advocacy, volunteerism research agenda formulation, mainstreaming volunteerism in AF agencies’ plans, programs and projects, collection and generation of volunteering data through the VEPS portal, conduct of capacity-building activities and review and setting-up of mechanisms on incentives, awards and recognition for AF volunteers.

Also present in the meeting are officials and staff of the two agencies that provided inputs and technical support are: Assistant Chief Conchita S. Del Rosario, Ms. Alfa Joy Fallesgon, Ms. Lenny Rose Perlas, Ms. Flordeliz Avellana, Ms. Andrea Louis Gutierez, Ms. Rachel Vacaisa on the side of PCAF while Ms. Maribel Larracochea, Ms. Danica Pacardo and Ms. Sheena Alcala for PNVSCA.

The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer I of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for other stories and information on volunteering.