MANDAON, MASBATE - Department of Interior and Local Government provincial director of Masbate, Julius Rodel Cal-Ortiz affirmed the automatic inclusion of the Agriculture and Fishery Councils (AFCs) in the Local Development Councils (LDC) of all the municipal or city local government unit.

The matter has cropped up during the 2nd RAFC mobile meeting held at the Don Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) on April 18-19, 2017. RAFC Bicol chairperson Alfredo Rillo reported the results of the recent meeting of the RAFC chairpersons with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol where the group requested for a full time AFC staff in the municipal LGUs. Currently, in some LGUs the AFC chairperson are not able to sit as members of Local Development Councils due to political conflict.

 

DA-DILG joint memorandum circular No. 1 series of 2016 reiterated the memo circular issued in 2013 on the extension of full support to the local AFCs as private sector partners in the implementation of local development policies, plans and programs; LGU participation in AFCs and the inclusion of AFCs chairperson or representative as a regular member and consultative development arm of the local development councils. The memo also mandated the involvement of the AFCs in the local planning and budgeting process to ensure the inclusion of its budget in the LGU’s annual appropriation, and participation of the AFCs in the implementation and coordination of local plans, programs and projects. Furthermore, the memo mandated the designation of full-time AFC secretariat-coordinator at the provincial, city and municipal levels; and participation of provincial/city/municipal LGU Operations Officers in AFC meetings.

DILG provincial director Ortiz committed to fully implement the circular in Masbate and to recommend to the DILG regional director the imposition of sanctions to LGUs that will not abide by the memorandum circular.

The RAFC is a consultative and feedback mechanism of the Department of Agriculture for its policies, plans and projects. (Lovella P. Guarin)