The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) has started the Pilot Implementation of Strengthening of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) in selected local government units (LGUs).
DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico discussed to key provincial and municipal government officials the benefits of creating ABE units in their respective localities.
Dir. Rico and the team of engineers from BAFE visited Davao del Norte from March 2 to 4 and Kalinga from March 14 to 17 to discuss the collaboration and complementation in the implementation of farm mechanization programs with the imminent devolution of agricultural and fisheries functions to LGUs pursuant to the Mandanas ruling. The devolution of functions already started this year, but there is a two-year transition period that ends in 2024. Full devolution of functions is expected by 2025.
The provinces of Davao del Norte and Kalinga are included in the 15 pilot LGUs recommended by the Regional Agricultural Engineering Divisions (RAEDs) that have existing ABE units or proposals on the creation of ABE units.
Although the LGUs of Davao del Norte and Kalinga have existing ABE units, Dir. Rico reiterated the provision of the AFMech Law and the DA-DBM-CSC-DILG Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2, series of 2020.
Mr. Edwin Palero (Head HR and E-governance team in Davao del Norte), Engr. Christopher Dalisay, Kalinga Governor Ferdinand Tubban, and Engr. Domingo Bakilan (Provincial Agriculturist of Kalinga) expressed their support and commitment in adopting the three sections similar to BAFE and RAED.
BAFE and RAEDs conducted the event to smoothly implement the provisions of the DA-DBM-CSC-DILG Joint Memorandum Circular No. 02 Series of 2020.
The creation of ABE groups in local government units offers several benefits. First, the ABE groups shall serve as the planning, coordinating, regulating and implementing bodies at the provincial, city and municipal levels on agricultural and fisheries engineering, mechanization and infrastructure programs and projects.
Second, with the implementation of Executive Order No. 138 on full devolution of certain functions of the Executive Branch to Local Governments, the ABE groups at the LGU will perform some of the devolved functions related to agricultural and fisheries engineering, mechanization and infrastructure programs and projects.
Lastly, the creation of ABE groups will help generate local revenues and resource mobilization strategy from the regulatory fees to be conducted by ABE and scholarships from TESDA among others. ###Marshall Louie Asis