Agricultural and Fishery Council (PAFC) of Catanduanes this years
national Gawad Saka winner for this category truly deserves the
honor because of its dynamism, responsiveness and receptiveness
to development efforts. It serves as facilitator, enabler, catalyst,
and active partner to its members
.. by helping them source
out founds, providing support and empowering them through trainings
and technology transfer and information and policy advocacies.
PAFC also serves as the link between the Department of Agriculture
and the LGUs and as active partner of both in the implementation
of agricultural develop-ment undertakings.
More importantly, PAFC acts as a consultative, integrative, coordinative,
advocacy and monitoring body that ensures the efficient, transparent
and successful implementation of agricultural programs and projects
in the province.
For 2008, the council paved the way for the conduct of Abaca
Business Plan Participatory Workshop, a NAFC funded activity,
on April 23-25, 2008 which resulted to the crafting of the 3-year
Catanduanes Unlad Abaca Masa (CUA) Development Plan expected
to benefit some 14,000 families. Abaca is the major crop of the
province that can withstand strong wind and typhoons that after
a year abaca plant is again providing livelihood to thousands
Today, farmers are starting to mechanize abaca stripping and
micro-entrepreneurs to venture into handicraft making that provides
better employment among rural women.
The PAFC also worked out the conduct of Farmers Forum on
various agricultural programs of the government which was attended
by over 850 agricultural stakeholders. It was also through PAFC
that the annual celebration of the Farmers and Fisherfolks Month
in May was institutionalized in the province.
Because of the PAFCs aggressive advocacy campaign for LGUs
to support the DAs fertilizer subsidy program, the Provincial
Government through Governor Joseph Cua approved P1.5M as its
counterpart to the program effective last year until year 2010.
The provincial government not only recognizes PAFC but also provides
annual funding from the 20%EDF with the integration of PAFCs
program of work to the provinces Annual Investment Plan.
In 2007, it was provided P100,000 for its operations and P150,000
as equity for the construction of the Provincial Multi-purpose
Training Center where the 1st floor will be given to PAFC for
its Office, Conference Hall and Showroom for the islands
champion products like abaca, tiger grass and handicrafts. In
2008, it was allocated by the Provincial Government P200,000.00
for its operations and enterprise development plus P1.2M for
completion of the Training Center Phase 1.
PAFC Catanduanes has actively promoted agricultural programs
and services and improved technologies through conduct of symposia,
fora and consultations cum workshop on relevant issues and concerns
like post harvest development; disaster preparedness and mitigation
for agriculture; credit access and credit discipline; fund sourcing
for agricultural and fishery-based production and processing
It assisted NGOs and LGUs in accessing funds for eleven
(11) LEAD projects amounting to P1.7M in 2007-2008. It was able
to obtain P0.75M from NAFC for the Livelihood Assistance Project
for typhoon Reming victims. Instead of giving these for free
it adopted the roll-over scheme to help more families
and to dispel the dole-out mentality. Already 11 beneficiaries
from Virac and Bato were awarded of the roll-over fund.
It strongly supports the RP-SPAIN SAIS-BC Abaca Fiber Extraction
and Marketing Projects. It has provided the Dororian Farmers
Producer Cooperative a capital of P25,000.00 from the Roll-Over
Fund of LEAD Provincial Roll-Over Fund for its Abaca Fiber Tinagak
Making Project. The MAFC Chairpersons of the areas covered by
the project also served as members of the Local Empowerment Team
tasked to evaluate possible organization-recipients.
PAFC Catanduanes also supports the One-Town-One Product of the
DTI through provision of additional capital to the Caramoran
Lasa Processors Association engaged in Lasa or tiger grass soft
broom making project.
It endorsed 3 project proposals to DOLE and two were approved:
the Macutal Farmers Producers Cooperative in Baras (also a SAIS-BC
recipient) for financial assistance for their Abaca Twine Making
Project amounting to P178,000.00 and Alinawan Small Sugarcane
Processors for Muscovado Production Project amounting to P103,000.00
The PAFC also supported the establishment of the Crab Center
and the enactment of the provincials ordinance to curb the illegal
trading of crablets outside the province.
Since 2007 it has passed and approved 21 resolutions not only
in support to its own activities and projects but also in support
to other NGOs and Rural-Based Organizations (RBOs) in Catanduanes.
PAFC Catanduanes is truly a dynamic, active, and pro-active,
council that has inspired and empowered individual and farmers
groups in the province to be self-reliant and to actively participate
in the development efforts not only for themselves but for the
entire nation. It deserves to join the ranks of national Gawad
saka awardees and achievers.
The awarding ceremony was held on October 15 at the Phil. International
Convention Center. (PICC).