MANDAUE CITY, CEBU – Industry players of agricultural and fisheries machinery and equipment consisting of manufacturers, fabricators, assemblers, distributors, dealers, importers and exporters (MFADDIEs) are urged to comply with the regulations enforced by the government.
A workshop on the regulatory policies and standards for agricultural machinery and equipment was hosted by the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) as part of a series of activities held in different regions of the country.
Representatives from the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE), academe, local government units of Bayawan City and the Provincial Government of Cebu, Regional Agricultural Engineering Divisions (RAEDs) of Region VI, VII, and VIII participated in the Workshop on the development of BAFE Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines cum Consultation on the RA 10601 (AFMech Law) IRR held from July 17 to 21, 2023 in Mandaue City, Cebu.
The workshop aimed to enhance the participants’ understanding and compliance with the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Law (Republic Act 10601) or AFMech Law, which mandates the regulation and certification of agricultural machinery and equipment.
Engr. Janice Vargas, Chief of BAFE’s Standards and Regulations Enforcement Division (SRED), formally opened the workshop on the third leg of the activity after conducting similar workshops in Luzon and Mindanao.
AFMech Law requires BAFE to enforce standards and issue Permit to Operate and Certificate of Conformity among others. BAFE gathered feedback from stakeholders, private sector, and partners in LGUs to balance the equation, said Engr. Vargas. BAFE initiated the activity in collaboration with RAEDs to come up with a common understanding of regulatory policies as stated in AFMech Law, she added. Forfeiture and closure proceedings of establishments that violate the law were discussed in the workshop.
Engr. Vargas said that ten years after AFMech Law’s enactment, it is timely to review its IRR or implementing rules and regulations for items that need clarification as various issues and concerns were discovered in connection with the IRR in the previous workshops in Luzon and Mindanao.
BAFE has gathered activities that must be implemented to speed-up and improve the delivery of services. Regulatory policies are also subject to ARTA Law (Anti Red Tape Act Law) in terms of the issuance time table of permits and issuances. The private sector consisting of agricultural machinery and equipment industry players are urged to comply with government regulations.
BAFE is looking at reducing the requirements so that all involved parties can benefit from AFMech Law, not as a burden but on the positive side with the intent of ensuring the quality of machinery and equipment that are distributed to Filipino farmers and fisher folk, said Engr. Vargas.
In his welcome remarks, Engr. Cirilo Namoc, chief of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) of DA-RFO VII, stressed the importance of convergence, collaboration and coordination as a strategy for effective project implementation of DA projects. He said that regulation and standards are crucial elements in achieving this goal. He also emphasized the need to master the different DA policies and regulations in accordance with the AFMech Law to boost the participants’ confidence in implementing projects in the agriculture and fisheries sector.
Chief of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) of DA-RFO VII, Engr. Cirilo Namoc, delivers his welcome remarks
Meanwhile, the draft of a Joint Administrative Order (JAO) for the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Permit to Operate (PTO) of Importers of Agri-Fishery Machinery and Equipment as a Requirement for Importation was presented by Engr. Mary Joy Vergara of BAFE-SRED.
An overview of BAFE’s regulatory activities including Certificate of Conformity, Permit to Operate, Accreditation of Testing Centers, Certification of Test Engineers, After-Sales Compliance Monitoring, and Manpower Complement Compliance Monitoring were discussed by Engr. Mark Twain Limbo of BAFE-SRED. He also presented the enforcement of standards, Acceptance Testing of Agri-Fisheries Machinery, and Updates on After-Sales Guidelines, and Prohibited Acts on the AFMech Law including penalties.
The draft DA circular for PTO Compliance Monitoring were discussed by Engr. Jessa Rica Pandiño. The said draft circular would provide information and guidelines on the conduct of Permit to Operate Compliance Monitoring to PTO Holders to ensure their continuous compliance to DC No. 04, Series 2019; Permit to Operate Market Surveillance; and uniform procedures to monitor the compliance of all establishment selling agricultural and fisheries machinery among others. ###(Marshall Louie Asis, DA-BAFE)