The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries (DA-BAFE) held a three-day year-end assessment to present the progress and evaluate the bureau’s performance in terms of physical and financial accomplishments.


During the DA-BAFE FY 2022 Year-End Assessment at the Subic Bay Venezia Hotel, Olongapo, Zambales from December 12 to 14, 2022, the issues and concerns encountered by each of DA-BAFE divisions were gathered, discussed and analyzed in order to devise strategies for more effective implementation for FY 2023.


In his year-end message, DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico together with Assistant Director Juana Tapel acknowledged their meaningful three years of hard work, experience, dedication, and passion to the Bureau. Director Rico recognized the BAFE as “relevant, useful, and competitive Bureau of the Department of Agriculture.”


For the first semester under the leadership of former Agriculture Secretary William Dar, DA-BAFE has done its part in contributing to the One DA Reform Agenda. First is the issuance of DA Memorandum Order No. 8, series of 2022 regarding the Implementing Guidelines on Key Strategy No. 8 which is the Farm Mechanization and Infrastructure Investment and Administrative Order No. 19, series of 2022 about the Institutionalization of Career Progression and Specialization of ABE and its operating units to contribute to the professionalization pillar.


In the second Semester of the FY 2022, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. became the concurrent Secretary of Agriculture. According to former Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian, President Marcos Jr. asked for the copy of Farm-to-Market Road Network plan which was provided by DA-BAFE.


In his first State of the Nation Address last July, President Marcos announced that the National Network of Farm-to-Market Road shall be established. In line with this, the DA-BAFE shall prepare the National Network of Farm-to Market Master Plan 2023-2028.


Last December 6, 2022, DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban along with Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa and the team including Director Rico presented the updates of the National FMR Network Plan, and handed the Joint DA, DPWH, DTI, DILG and DOT to President Marcos. The Chief Executive appreciated the presentation and reminded that FMR proposals needs to be in order.


The Programs and Projects Management Division (PPMD), led by Engr. Cristy Cecilia Polido, was recognized by Dir. Rico for pioneering the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Management Information System (ABEMIS) which is now being used DA-wide and in some government agencies.


The GEOAGRI is one of DA-BAFE’s platforms for Farm-to-Market Network Plan (FMRNP) supervised by the interim Planning, Knowledge Management Digitalization Division (PKMDD) under Engr. Arnel Tenorio.


Through PPMD, DA-BAFE rapidly progressed in the strengthening of ABE groups in LGUs in relation to Mandanas Ruling and Executive Order 138. BAFE completed the regional briefings and went down to several provinces.


The positions of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers (ABEs) are now mandatory in all provinces, cities and municipalities under Civil Service Commission, Memorandum Circular 12. With this issuance, there will be now DA-BAFE in the provinces, cities and municipalities and this signals that DA-BAFE will soon become a line Bureau.


Dir. Rico recognized the Engineering Plans, Designs and Specifications Division (EPDSD) led by Engr. Noemi Carpio for the preparation of modular design of the bio-secure housing of the INSPIRE Program.


Dir. Rico likewise appreciated the Standards Regulation and Enforcement Division (SRED) for their regulatory works specifically the Permit to Operate (PTO) and in resolving the RAFMES-ABEMIS issue in the registration of agri-fishery machinery with the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing between DA-BAFE and PHilMech.


The Director also recognized the newly constituted Special Engineering Programs and Projects (SEPPD) formerly led by Engr. Dennis Tactac and now led by Engr. Allan Goleng with the guidance of Asst. Dir. Tapel for working with National Housing Authority (NHA) on the relocation of informal settlers and the preparation of DED for the proposed BAFE building. The SEPPD will have an enormous amount of work as they handle the Farm-to-Market Road Development Plan (FMRDP).


He also pinpointed and thanked the Administrative and Finance Division (AFD) for administrative and funding management works under the supervision of Chief Administrative Officer Ms. Lourdes Bonifacio and Supervising Administrative Officer Mr. Glenn Erlano.


DA-BAFE conducted the first regional summit in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with PSABE and MAFAR. The Minister of MAFAR attended and gave his support for the creation of RAED and sponsorship of BTA bill creating the BAFE BARMM.


Dir. Rico applauded Asst. Dir. Tapel for helping him manage the Bureau. DA-BAFE is proud that Assistant Director Jane Tapel is recognized as “one among the world class engineer both here and abroad.” ### by Ralph Angelo Ongka