SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur---The Department of Agriculture can now officially recognize and authorize a Civil Society Organizations (CSO).

This was based on the Administrative Order No. 8, series of 2017 or the “Guidelines for the Accreditation of CSOs to be engaged by DA as partner in the implementation of agri-fishery projects” and issued by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol. This order is an amendment of AO No. 23, series of 2012 and AO No. 01, series of 2014 which were issued for the accreditation of CSOs in the implementation of projects funded by the DA. 

 

Piñol issued the guidelines to encourage people’s participation in agricultural development based on the principle of good governance; ensure that only DA-accredited CSOs can participate in the implementation of agriculture and fisheries programs and projects; promote transparency and accountability; improve the system of check and balance; safeguard the use and allocation of government resources; ensure efficient, effective and ethical program/project implementation; and guarantee compliance of existing pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

The DA recognizes the role of CSO in community development and acknowledges its capacities and capabilities in the successful implementation of agriculture and fisheries program and projects. It can also transfer public funds to the CSO that is implementing a government program or project jointly with the DA or a beneficiary of the project.

Civic organizations, cooperative or federation/consortium of cooperatives, academe-based NGOs, private corporations or foundations, people’s organizations, religious organizations, alliances/networks/federations of NGOs/POs, development-oriented NGOs/POs, duly-registered DA-organized/assisted organizations, government-organized NGOs/POs, and multi-purpose cooperatives are eligible for accreditation.

To facilitate the accreditation process, the DA created a national and regional technical committee and secretariat.

The National Technical Committee will be chaired by the Undersecretary for Operations Ariel T. Cayanan and vice-chaired by Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Leandro H. Gazmin. Members include the DA-FOS Director Roy M. Abaya; DA-FMS Acting Director Miriam C. Cornelio; Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries Executive Director Tara G. Cayona; DA-AMAS Director Carolyn C. Castro; DA-Administrative Director Roldan G. Gorgonio; DA-Legal Services Director Atty. Roland A. Tulay; a representative from the office of the Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit ; and other members designated by Secretary Piñol. The Secretariat will be composed by DA FPOPD and DA FPCMD.

The Regional Technical Committee will be chaired by DA-Bicol Executive Director Dr. Elena B. De Los Santos and with Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulatory Dr. Edgar R. Madrid as vice-chair. Members are RTD for Operations Rodel P. Tornilla, Regional Management Council Heads, Field Operation Division Chief, Agribusiness and Marketing-assistance Division Chief Adelina A. Losa, OIC-Regulatory Division Chief Rosita M. Imperial, Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council Chair Alfredo Rillo, and other members designated by the Secretary. The Secretariat will be chaired by the DA-Bicol Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division Chief, Aloha Gigi Bañaria.

The accreditation will be valid for three years but can be revoked on grounds of misrepresentation, falsification, bankruptcy or insolvency of the CSO, and violation of laws, rules and regulations involving use of government funds.

The accredited organization will be subject to spot checking and submission of annual accomplishment report, financial report, and a report of all material changes and an updated accreditation documents submitted.

All CSOs which were previously accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in 2015 and 2016 will remain valid until the date of expiration. (jaysonmgonzales)