Monday, March 24, 2014

NAFC looks back on 2013 milestones, draws up strategies to improve operations

NAFC Exec. Dir. Ariel Cayanan encourages the staff to draw inspiration from one another to overcome obstacles and hang onto positive expectations as they move forward with their commitments and plans.
Amid the ongoing consolidation efforts for the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), the National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC) held its 2013 Performance Review and 2014/2015 Planning Workshop last March 10 to 12 at the Maharajah Hotel, Angeles City, Pampanga.

NAFC Executive Director Ariel Cayanan dubbed the undertaking as an “opportunity to nurture a culture of openness and performance excellence” within the agency and thanked all NAFC staff for their guidance and assistance, especially during his first few months as leader of the agency.

He also stressed the importance of continuously improving the quality of work and services given to the clientele by breaking away from bad traditions and thinking outside of the box, especially with the ongoing consolidation efforts for PCAF.

“This transition period is a very critical time for us at NAFC, as well as those from the LDC (Livestock Development Council). We should truly open ourselves up to changes and take advantage of it. This is the time for us to explore new possibilities and discover new paths and innovations,” he said.

NAFC Deputy Executive Director Florabelle Uy-Yap also recognized the hard work given by the NAFC workforce that enabled the agency to achieve a total of 95% of its Major Final Output (MFO) targets in 2013.

“We should all be proud of ourselves because, despite all the hurdles, we still reached our goals. But, now, I think the real reason behind this activity is (for us to think of) how to surpass last year’s achievements and accomplishments and do better this 2014,” she said.

DED Yap encouraged the staff to seize the opportunities to effectively reach the goals and targets of the agency and look for ways to “turn lemons into lemonade.”

Noteworthy accomplishments

NAFC’s salient accomplishments last year include facilitating the participatory development of policy recommendations that resulted in the enactment of relevant agriculture-related legislations such as the Agriculture and Fisheries Mechanization Law, its Implementing Rules and Regulations, and the Food Safety Act of 2013.

Its participatory development initiatives also resulted in the conduct of policy-related activities such as the first ASEAN Conference on Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, information dissemination and advocacy on the ASEAN Economic Community 2015, and mainstreaming of private sector involvement relative to climate change in the plans and programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The policy recommendations generated from the consultations facilitated by NAFC also led to the advocacy for the adoption of second border inspection of fish and plant products and the crafting of country positions on the international fishing conventions.

NAFC is also instrumental in the development and packaging of project proposals for government priority interventions such as the Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy or AKBay Program-Phase II and the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Training for the Consultative Bodies.

The agency also ensured that the plan and budget proposals of the various DA Banner Programs were subjected to consultations with civil society organizations and the private sector through the National Sectoral Committees (NSCs) last year.

Meanwhile, the advocacy initiatives of the agency and its partners from the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) resulted in the issuance of the DA and Department of Interior and Local Government Joint Memorandum Circular urging the extension of full support to the AFCs as local partners in the implementation of local development policies, plans and programs. 

Overall, NAFC conducted a total of 1,920 local and international consultations on agri-fishery policies and programs last year, or 99 percent of the targeted 1,941 consultations.

Out of these consultations 1,219 resolutions and position papers were endorsed and 288 local policy issues were resolved. Meanwhile, nine agreements and commitments were forged through some of the consultations held.

For the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of agri-fishery development programs, the agency disseminated 848 out of 880 targeted M&E reports to Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act focal persons/heads of lead agencies, heads of DA bureaus and attached agencies, DA Regional Field Offices, DA-Office of the Secretary, National Economic and Development Authority, NSCs, and AFCs.

Enhancing overall productivity

The key NAFC officers who convened the workshop also threshed out innovative strategies to address major issues that affect the overall operations of the agency.

Heads and staff of the five NAFC divisions scrutinize each of the other divisions’ proposed innovative solutions to priority issues and concerns.
Among the major agreements include the regular conduct of integration activities among the NSCs and AFCs through joint meetings and of oversight and internal operational monitoring to improve the planning-implementation cycle within the agency.

As NAFC pursues its planned activities for the first semester of 2014, before the full consolidation as PCAF, the key agency officers also laid out the schedule of activities of their respective divisions for the coming months.

The performance review and planning workshop serves as the agency’s management tool that enables the agency know how it performed, as well as strategize for the attainment of agency‘s goals especially its MFO targets.

The undertaking also enabled the agency staff collectively fill the gaps and find solutions to identified agency problems, issues and concerns; cope with various government reforms and initiatives that demand more tasks to be done; and, enhance the agency’s relevance and responsiveness as the participatory arm of the agriculture and fishery sector.



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