BAGUIO CITY – In the spirit of volunteerism in representing the agriculture sector in the region, incumbent Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council (RAFC)-Cordillera Executive Committee Chairperson Ryan U. Palunan was elected to the said position on July 24, 2023 held at Guisad, Baguio City.
Palunan is serving as the Chairperson since last year. He is also the Regional Chairperson for the youth sectoral committee.
Meanwhile, Osmeña Lampitao won as the Vice-Chairperson, and Edna Bendadan was elected as the Secretary. Michael Lumas-i and Shirley Palao-ay were also elected as Treasurer and Internal Auditor, respectively.
The candidates for chairperson and vice-chairperson were among the newly elected Regional AFC sectoral chairperson and Provincial AFC chairpersons who filed their Certificate of Candidacy. Other officials were elected through the same process.
In his message, Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey underscored the importance of strengthening AFCs at the municipal level because that is where organizations are strongest. He also mentioned the ongoing discussions on the sub-sectoral committees under the Regional Development Council (RDC), where there are motions being done to upgrade agriculture into a sectoral committee, which is currently a subsector under the economic development committee.
“The advantage of having a sectoral committee on agriculture is that agriculture-related concerns will be directed to the said committee without going through the upper levels. If the agriculture sector has a voice in the RDC, AFCs will be parallel to other agriculture sectors. The policies you will create will have a higher chance to be considered by the upper level,” he said.
Dir. Odsey added that if agriculture in the Cordillera has more resources, it will have more opportunities to fund projects, especially special projects for remote areas.
On the other hand, Palunan is hopeful for improved recommendations from the AFCs that is geared towards the betterment of farmers’ livelihoods, especially at the grassroots level, as well as to adopt and improve good practices from other regions.
RAFC is a special body created to assist the DA in the broad-based monitoring and coordination of the agri-fishery modernization process and serves as an integrative and consultative structure for inter-agency and inter-sectoral collaboration in agri-fishery modernization. The creation of RAFC is also under the guidance of Article 13, section 16 of the Philippine Constitution.
The RAFC consists of various sectoral committees that include rice; high-value; poultry, livestock and corn; agri-mechanization; women; youth; coffee; and fisheries and aquaculture.
Under the new guidelines with regard to the Omnibus on the Engagement of Consultative Bodies, Palunan is expected to continue his duty until 2026. By CEWaytan