DA to update agri–fishery machinery testing, evaluation guidelines

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture has formed a group to update the guidelines on the testing and evaluation of agricultural and fisheries machineries.

In a special order, Agriculture Secretary William Dar ordered the creation of an inter-agency technical working group (TWG) for the updating of the guidelines under Department Circular No. 5, Series of 2017 to address concerns on the implementation.

The previously issued guidelines were in line with the implementation of Republic Act No. 10601 or the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (AFMech) Law, which states that agricultural and fisheries machinery and equipment to be sold in the market should pass through testing and evaluation by the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC).

“To address the issues and concerns in the implementation of this guideline and to effectively implement it, there is a need to review and update the guideline to ensure quality, safety and compliance to standards and specifications of machinery and equipment supplied in the market,”Dar said.

The inter-agency TWG was ordered to conduct a review and provide inputs for the updating of the previous guidelines.

It was also directed to facilitate, conduct, and participate in the island-wide and national public consultations, forums and workshops to generate inputs and comments necessary for the finalization of the guidelines.

The group was also instructed to come up with an updated guideline on testing and evaluation of agricultural and fisheries machinery.

The inter-agency TWG is composed of representatives from the DA-Philippine Council of Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs) Cagayan Valley, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.

The group will also include representatives from the University of The Philippines Los Baños-Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (UPLB-AMTEC), Mindanao Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (MAMIA), Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Associations (AMMDA), and the Philippine Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (PSABE).

Dar said the team leader shall preside the meetings and oversee the tasks and activities of the TWG.

“Expenses to be incurred by the inter-agency TWG in the performance of their functions, duties and responsibilities such as food, transportation, and accommodation shall be charged against BAFE (Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering) funds, subject to availability of funds and the usual government accounting and auditing rules and regulations,”Dar said.

In a separate special order, Dar created another inter-agency TWG for updating the accreditation guidelines on agricultural fisheries machinery testing center under Department Circular No. 4, Series of 2017.

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