Monday, August 1, 2016

PCAF builds Strategic Framework for Medium Term AFMP

Exec. Dir. Ariel Cayanan shares a light moment with RAFC Region 10 Chairperson Edgardo Layug; RAFC Region 5 Chairperson Jose Cordero, Jr.; NSC Committee on Commercial Crops Head David Santos, and RAFC Region 1 Chairperson Vincent Adorna, during his opening remarks.
 In today’s challenging agriculture and fishery industry, strategic planning is everything.

“This strengthens the team by defining a clearer focus and direction of an agency,” Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries- Planning, Monitoring and Knowledge Management Division (PCAF-PMKMD) Chief Estrella Tulay shared on the first day of the agency’s Strategic Planning Workshop for 2017-2022 in View Park Hotel in Tagaytay City.

More than 30 selected employees from PCAF’s four Operating Units (OUs) participated in the workshop on July 11 to 15, 2016 to draw up a strategy framework.

PCAF’s OUs, which are led by the office of Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, are composed of Administrative, Financial and Management Division (AFMD), PMKMD, Policy Development and Coordination Division (PDCD), and Partnership Development Division (PDD).

PMKMD Chief Estrella Tulay explains the importance of Strategic Planning in one organization like PCAF.
PCAF’s strategic framework will be the agency’s guide for the formulation of its Strategic Plan and the crafting of its Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (AFMP) for the next 6 years.

During the five-day workshop, PCAF employees revisited the agency’s mission, vision and strategic objectives. Each division carefully reviewed and settled issues relative to the functions of other OUs.

Angelo Ramon Tanchoco, Development Academy of the Philippines consultant and team leader of the evaluative study on PCAF’s consultative bodies presented the result, findings and recommendations of the study titled “Participatory Governance in Agriculture and Fisheries Development: An Evaluative Study on PCAF’s Consultative Bodies (CBs)”. 

Based on the study, Tanchoco and his team recommended the strengthening of Sectoral Committees at all levels as the main consultative agent. It also proposed to redefine Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) as inter-sectoral and private-government coordinating body.

On the other hand, international consultant-trainer Carmen “Mench” Auste helped PCAF employees to attain clearer perspective in the reevaluation and identification of PCAF’s strengths, setbacks and best practices.

PCAF employees actively participate in various activities pursued to elicit feedback and actions toward the crafting of strategic framework.

As part of the workshop, the participants recalled and highlighted the agency’s accomplishments for the past years. Auste prepared questions for each team to answer and presented it in a creative way.

Aside from the activities, strategic planning concepts and principles were also discussed. The outputs of the discussion were considered in the crafting of the agency’s midterm plan. 

Auste organized activities like Strategic Café where participants expressed their opinions and ideas about PCAF’s functions. Some of the significant outputs were competency building for the existing staff and hiring of proficient people that matches PCAF’s job requirements; the issuance of Executive Order or Administrative Order to include AFCs in the Department of Agriculture (DA) key processes and budget support, and set-up of information system and knowledge database.

Other suggestions encompassed scaling up effective PCAF programs, projects and initiatives like increase the numbers of Municipal AFCs; monitor emerging concerns; establish NAF Council café, and creation of regional PCAF offices as well as Agriculture and Fishery Mechanization Committee division in PCAF.

The findings of each activity identified the gaps, inadequacies and accomplishments of the 3-year-old agency that became the basis of the strategic directions of PCAF.

Among the issues that were discussed during the review of OU functions were the interlocks between and among sections and divisions. Several interlocking functions were identified and clarified but some needs further merging and delineation in the processes of each OU’s tasks.

“Interlocks are not overlap. They are all of strategic value. The purpose of interlock is when the task is complex, it is expected that you will have each other to help out. Let us go out from the old frame na pag ibang division, ibang section lang ang gagawa, sila lang dapat ang gumawa. They are supposed to lighten our load,” Auste explained the importance of interlocks.

Framework of 2017-2022 Strategic Plan

According to Clearpath, a US-based consulting firm, Strategic Framework is a comprehensive picture of the organization’s strategy. 

In the workshop, PCAF employees clarify how individual efforts, divisions and CBs’ projects, activities and programs can be connected to achieve the best outcome. The team magnified the gaps and setbacks in the workshop to see a clearer picture of PCAF. 

Among the gaps and setbacks highlighted were: employee competency building and involvement of information officers and planning officers during consultations at the local level.

The participants saw the need to enhance the awareness of all the CBs about PCAF, its structure, roles and functions.

With the help of Auste, the participants identified and aligned the Outcomes, Strategic Initiatives (SI) and Milestones of PCAF. This resulted into Strategic Framework which will be the guide of PCAF to create the 6-year Strategic Plan.

Auste gives instructions to PCAF employees on how to come up with Outcomes, SI and Milestones.
Auste described Outcome as the result of an activity in process, the change or difference in an organization. These could be achieved through learning, action or condition.

While SI are general plans for the entire 6 years which can be attained through Milestones by creating step by step programs, activities and projects.

The initial outputs of the strategic framework are based on the Outcomes per divisions. PDCD have written “responsive and sound policies for agriculture and fisheries development” as their Outcome.

PDD laid out their Outcomes as broad-based and active participation of stakeholders in CBs; dynamic, responsive and sustainable CBs; maximized support and enhanced synergies with key stakeholders; and sound and responsive policies for agriculture and fishery development.
While PMKMD set in context the improved synergies synchronization and coordination of activities, and enhancement of good governance in PCAF and its CBs” as some of their Outcomes.

As part of AFMD Outcomes, they have identified as prudence and judicious use of resources, and high quality and responsive AFM support services.

The final strategic framework which will include the measures, responsibility centers and coordination activities of other OUs will be submitted to PMKMD- PPS on the 1st week of August.

The said section will review and consolidate the submitted framework. Upon consolidation, the final output will be presented to PCAF Executive Director Ariel Cayanan and to the Division Chiefs.

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