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Group Photo: CALAMBA CITY, LAGUNA, MAY 16, 2019 – (From right to left) DA RFO IV-CALABARZON Regional Director Arnel de Mesa, DILG IV-A Regional Director Manuel Gotis, AFP Lt. Gen. (Retired) Pedro Cabuay, Jr., DA CALABARZON Farmer-Director and RAFC Chairperson Pedrito Kalaw, DA CALABARZON OIC-ARD for Operations Dennis Arpia, PCAF Area Coordinator (IV-A) Ace Espinola, and RAFC Administrative Staff Eva Gomez, in a photo opportunity for their meeting recognizing that the AFCs would usher a participatory local governance, held at DILG IV-A Regional Office.

Pursuant to Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2016 Re: The Extension of Full Support to the Local Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) as Private Sector Partners in the Implementation of Local Development Policies, Plans, and Programs, and Reiteration of DILG Memorandum Circulars 97-271 and 98-200 Re: Local Government Unit (LGU) Participation in the AFCs and the AFCs in the Local Development Councils (LDCs), DA CALABARZON Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa, together with Farmer-Director and Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council Chairperson Pedrito R. Kalaw and Officer-In-Charge-Assistant Regional Director for Operations Dennis R. Arpia; and DILG IV-A Regional Director Manuel Q. Gotis, joined for its strict compliance.

Their discussion mainly revolved around the following provisions stated in the memorandum circular:
• Inclusion of local AFCs Chairperson or representative as a regular member and consultative development arm of the LDC;
• Involvement of the AFCs in local planning and budgeting process to ensure the inclusion of its budget in the LGU’s annual appropriations;
• Participation of the AFCs in the implementation and coordination of local plans, programs, and projects;
• Designation of full-time AFC Secretariat-Coordinator at the provincial, city, and municipal levels; and
• Participation of Provincial/City Directors and City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officers in AFC meetings and consultations, assistance in monitoring of programs and projects in their respective areas, and giving advice on matters and issues related to the DILG.

DILG already issued a memorandum circular regarding the “accreditation of civil society organizations, and selection of representatives to the local special bodies (development councils, health boards, school boards, and peace and order council)” to complied with the above-mentioned concern. In this sense, governance is a shared responsibility among the local officials and the AFCs.

It was also highlighted in the meeting that through this collaboration, the DA would be able to develop its reporting system in the region to enhance the existing operational planning, monitoring, and evaluation, and procedures used in the preparation and implementation of its programs and activities.

The joint DA and DILG memorandum circular was issued on July 29, 2016. • ARC, DA-RAFIS