Monday, February 24, 2014

Setting efforts in motion for the implementation of AFMech Law

PCAF Deputy Exec. Dir. Florabelle Uy-Yap (top photo), together with AFMeC Vice Chairperson Ariodear Rico and DA Personnel Division OIC Marites Bernardo, speaks to the participants of the planning workshop for the implementation of the AFMech Law held on January 20 and 21, 2014.
Following Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala’s signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10601 or the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Law (AFMech Law) in December last year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its consultative arm, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), have hit the ground running early 2014 by conducting a planning workshop to work on the modified organizational structures of concerned DA bureaus, attached agencies and Regional Agricultural Engineering Divisions (RAEDs).

In line with Section 24, Rule 24.3.1 of the AFMech Law IRR, the DA, through the Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization Committee (AFMeC), spearheaded the planning workshop last January 20 and 21 at the PCAF Apacible Conference Room. This is to finalize the modified organizational structure and staffing pattern of DA bureaus, attached agencies and corporations implementing or undertaking agri-fishery mechanization, infrastructure and engineering programs or projects.

The agencies and institutions represented during the workshop were the Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Carabao Center, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Fiber Development Authority, National Dairy Authority, National Food Authority, National Irrigation Administration, National Meat Inspection Service, National Tobacco Administration, and Sugar Regulatory Administration, and PCAF.

Representatives from the DA Personnel Division, Legal Office, Regional Field Offices (RFOs) and RAEDs were also present.

PCAF Deputy Executive Director Florabelle Uy-Yap welcomed all the participants and formally opened the activity on behalf of Exec. Dir. Ariel Cayanan who was at another important engagement.
In a message read by DED Yap, Dir. Cayanan stressed that the AFMech Law is a vital instrument in creating globally competitive agricultural and fishery products, services, and machinery industry, especially in light of the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

Fine-tuning structures and functions

In strengthening the DA agricultural and fishery engineering groups and pursuant to Section 46 of R.A. 8435 (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997), a Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE) will be created as a regular bureau of the DA under the supervision of a DA Undersecretary.

The BAFE will, among other functions, coordinate, oversee and monitor the national planning and implementation of agri-fisheries engineering, farm-to-market road and other agri-fisheries infrastructure projects. It will also assist in the national planning, coordination and implementation of the national agri-fisheries mechanization programs.

The Bureau is also tasked to coordinate and monitor the enforcement of standards and other regulatory policies on agricultural and fishery engineering and implement accreditation and registration scheme for agriculture and fishery machinery, tools and equipment, in coordination with technology generators.

Also, the BAFE will issue permits to operate to agriculture and fishery tools and equipment manufacturers, fabricators, assemblers and importers and promulgate and implement accreditation guidelines for testing centers.

The BAFE will be headed by a Bureau Director and Assistant Bureau Director to be appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Representatives from various DA bureaus, attached agencies and Regional Field Units work on finalizing their agencies’ modified structure and staffing pattern.

To strengthen the provision of agricultural engineering services necessary to carry out the field implementation of DA’s agricultural and fishery engineering, mechanization and infrastructure programs and projects, the enforcement of the AFMech Law entails modifications in the organizational structure and staffing pattern of the DA RFOs for the creation of Agricultural Engineering Division.

Likewise, Rule 24.3.1 strengthens the Infrastructure Support and Coordination Section, currently headed by Engr. Francia Macalintal, into an Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization and Engineering Division to effectively provide secretariat and technical support to the AFMeC. It will also serve as the implementing unit of the DA-Constructors Performance Evaluation System, coordinate and monitor local AFMeC activities and conduct policy formulation, analysis, advocacy and program development on agri-fishery mechanization.
Apart from this, all concerned bureaus and attached agencies of the DA implementing agri-fishery mechanization and infrastructure projects are tasked to review and modify their organizational structure and staffing pattern to strengthen the provision of agricultural engineering services as part of the overall network of the BAFE.

Thus, a workshop was conducted on the second day of the activity to harmonize overlaps and duplication of functions and prepare the common structures of agri-fishery engineering groups and services.
The participants were divided into four groups who each worked on fine-tuning the organizational structure, functions and staffing pattern of concerned DA bureaus, attached agencies, RFUs and engineering groups.
The participants were also tasked to determine the positions required for the creation of new units or expansion and strengthening of existing offices as well as the budgetary requirements with special focus on the professional services needed.

In closing, PhilMech Dir. Rex Bingabing commended the accomplishments of the attendees of the planning workshop and encouraged them to continue their efforts and support for the successful implementation of the AFMech Law. 

See also:


Post a Comment