2nd Project Steering Committee Meeting held virtually for “Promotion of Vertical Integration in Wood Processing through People’s Organizations in CBFM Areas in the Philippines”

As the project embarks on to its 2nd year from 2022, the 2nd Project Steering Committee meeting was held virtually on 20th December 2021 for project AFoCO/016/2021 for “Promotion of Vertical Integration in Wood Processing through People’s Organizations in Community Based Forest Management Areas in the Philippines”. The meeting was held to discuss the following agendas:  follow-up of the 1st PSC meeting regarding the Records of Discussion (RoD), annual progress and financial report of 2021 and project performance analysis based on the Project Implementation Plan (PIP) Matrix, annual work plan and budget for 2022 to be approved by the PSC meeting, technical discussion on the wood processing machineries and equipment to be procured for the project, and finally for the Implementing Agency (IA) to initially present the working draft and outline of the Operations Manual of the Project.

The meeting was joined by the Project Steering Committee members from the Philippinesand the AFoCO Secretariat. The meeting was formally called into order by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, Atty. Jonas R. Leones, who is the officially designated Chairperson of the PSC. He started the meeting by requesting the AFoCO National Focal Point and Chief of Forest Resources Management Division Forest Management Bureau, Mr. Ildefonso L. Quilloy, to introduce the PSC members and representatives from concerned DENR offices and welcomed all participants to the 2nd PSC meeting.

During the meeting, the Project Manager Ms. Janelyn P. Francisco, Senior Forest Management Specialist at the Forest Resources Management Division of Forest Management Bureau and the Project Manager for AFoCO/016/2021, briefly presented the recap of the 1st PSC’s record of discussion. After the brief recap, she proceeded with the follow-up activities, the 2021 annual progress & financial report and project performance analysis based on the PIP matrix which was followed by a presentation on the annual work plan and budget for 2022 covering 12 months from January to December.

The AFoCO Secretariat acknowledged excellent project achievements and on-time progress of the project despite the tremendous challenges posed by the pandemic situation which could not have made conducting the activities any easier than before. The Secretariat also acknowledged that the project has shown exemplary practice, especially in its development of Operations Manual just for project AFoCO/016/2021, which is not an activity undertaken by other AFoCO projects, and that this would be an ideal topic to be covered as the first feature article provided by the IA.

The meeting adjourned with hopes that the COVID-19 situation would improve in the future for the next PSC meeting planned for December 2022, to be held in-person in Seoul and for the Philippines side to visit the Seoul and the Secretariat in time for the 15th World Forestry Congress next year in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Photo showing the attendees from the members of the PSC, AFoCO Secretariat and DENR representatives from FMB, Foreign Assisted and Special Project Service (FASPS), and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)

Submitted by CHA Jiyea, team assistant

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