The Philippine Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers (PSABE) held the 1st PSABE-BARMM Convention at the Alnor Convention Center, Cotabato City from November 8 to 10, 2022 with the theme “Uplifting Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Profession in the Bangsamoro Region.”
The keynote address/inspirational message was provided by Dr. Mohammad Yacob, Minister of MAFAR-BARMM, who expressed his sincerest appreciation to PSABE-BARMM headed by Engr. Windel Diangcalan for organizing the event which intends to provide local agricultural and biosystems engineers with comprehensive up-to-date information and develop a common understanding of the ABE profession in the Bangsamoro region.
“As an infant ministry like the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR-BARMM), we considered this convention a very timely endeavor as we are in the process of building the bureaucracy and capacitating our workforce,” said MAFAR-BARMM Minister Yacob.
Highlights of the said event are the Regional Summit on Farm-to-Market Road Master Planning and ABE Services, plenary sessions, and the 1st General Assembly of ABE Professionals within BARMM.
DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico, who is also the Chair of the Professional Regulatory Board for Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (PRBABE), delivered the opening/welcome remarks during the preliminaries on November 8, 2022.
Director Rico remarked that DA-BAFE has fully supported the event financially and considered it important to cascade the formulation of BARMM network of Farm-to-Market Road Master Plan; on-going updating of the National Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization Plan where BARMM needs to be included; BAFE regulatory activities in BARMM (registration of agricultural and fishery machinery owners, issuance of permit to operate, and AMTEC testing), formulation of BARMM Irrigation Master Plan and BAFE’s initiative with NIA and BSWM; implementation of RPCs to be implemented in top 20 rice producing provinces; and the implementation of P1 billion fuel discount program.
BAFE has a counterpart in MAFAR, the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) created by the newly passed Administrative Code. The organizational structure and staffing pattern of MAFAR-RAED will be submitted to the Honorable Minister for consideration, said Dir. Rico. To fully carry out its functions, the RAED will have its presence in MAFAR provincial, city and municipal offices. The P2.8 billion Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund under the FY 2023 Bangsamoro Expenditure Program, which will soon become BARMM General Appropriations Act, will be tapped as funding source.
The BAFE-BARMM Bill for sponsorship by the Honorable Minister in BARMM Parliament, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority was also discussed and reformulated along with the proposed BARMM Local Government Code.
Moreover, Dir. Rico shared the on-going activities with the full devolution under Mandanas Ruling and EO 138. He likewise emphasized the need to delineate MAFAR ABE services with LGU ABE services.
In conclusion, Dir. Rico shared that an agri-fisheries mechanization, infrastructure, and engineering workshop will be organized next year in Cotabato City with BARMM-MAFAR and MinDA (Mindanao Development Authority). ###Marshall Louie Asis