PCAF: CSO accreditation essential in community development, participatory governance
To ensure that agriculture programs are effectively carried out, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) enjoins interested civil society organizations (CSOs) to register themselves and get accredited as partners of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the co-implementation of programs, projects and activities.
Accredited CSOs become either implementing partners or beneficiaries of the DA’s programs and projects. By tapping citizen’s engagement through the accredited CSOs, the DA hopes to improve the agency’s absorptive capacity, promote transparency and accountability, and enhance good governance in the agriculture sector.
As the attached agency committed to promote citizen engagement in DA programs and projects, PCAF facilitates these broad-based participatory development mechanisms and processes by conducting stakeholders’ consultations, dialogues, and participatory monitoring of DA programs and projects.
“PCAF recognizes the role of CSOs in community development. Through this, organizations will be able to participate in government decision-making and implementation of agriculture and fisheries programs and projects,” PCAF Executive Director Nestor Domenden said.
Eligible CSOs for accreditation include civic organizations, cooperatives, non-governmental organizations, people’s organizations, indigenous people’s organizations, and non-profit organizations that are engaged or have expertise in agriculture and fisheries.
CSOs seeking to be accredited as implementing partners must have a proven track record and good standing in undertaking civil society works. CSOs applying for accreditation as beneficiaries must have the appropriate social preparation from the government agency providing the grant of financial assistance.
The National Technical Committee chaired by PCAF facilitates accreditation of eligible CSOs whose major areas of operation span more than one region or are national in scope.
A three-step online application process was created for smooth facilitation. CSOs seeking to be accredited on a national level must: (1) Prepare a duly accomplished application form which can be downloaded from the PCAF website; (2) Scan the certified true copy of all the requirements, including a Certificate of Compliance for cooperatives registered under the Cooperative Development Authority; and (3) Email the complete documents to the CSO National Technical Secretariat at [email protected].
The complete list of the documentary requirements is available on the PCAF website. Applicants may also check Administrative Circular No. 3, Series of 2022, specifically Article III, Sections 2 and 5 for application requirements.
On the other hand, local and regional based CSOs can submit their required documents to the Regional Technical Committee at their DA-Regional Field Offices.
Only one accreditation certificate can be issued per CSO. Each level of accreditation is also classified based on engagement either as CSO co-implementer or as CSO beneficiary.
Funding from the DA
As implementing partners, accredited CSOs are given funding from the DA when they are implementing a government program or a project jointly with a government agency or a beneficiary of a government program and project.
“Aside from ensuring people’s participation in agriculture and fisheries programs, accreditation of CSOs also help DA promote transparency and accountability in the use of government resources. Citizen engagement in the use and allocation of public funds improves our system of checks and balances when the people are more active in deciding and monitoring where and how public funds are used,” PCAF ED Domenden added.
To recognize the impactful engagement of accredited CSOs in DA programs and projects, PCAF gave out awards for model co-implementing and model beneficiary CSOs during the first-ever DA National CSO Summit in June 2022.
Awarded organizations under the Model Co-Implementing CSOs are the Mindoro Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MIMAROPA Region), the Integrated Barangay of Numancia Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Western Visayas Region), and the Baclay Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Zamboanga Peninsula).
For the Model Beneficiary CSO category, the winners are the Agripreneur Farmers and Producers Association Inc. (Bicol Region) and the MSC Center for the Poor Agriculture Cooperative (CARAGA Region).
CSOs are awarded for sharing best practices that demonstrate their dedicated efforts and valuable contributions resulting in outstanding and impactful engagement towards uplifting the lives of the farmers and fisherfolk in their locality.
An Excellence Award is also given to the Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperative (Ilocos Region) for its continued exemplary performance.
Monitoring of Performance
Accredited CSOs are regularly monitored and assessed by the national and regional technical committees through quarterly reports submitted to PCAF.
These reports include the list of accredited CSOs, the status of co-project implementation, the projects received, and the over-all performance of each accredited CSO engaged as implementing or beneficiary CSO.
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