Engr. Ariodear C. Rico celebrated his first year as the Director of Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) via an online year-end assessment meeting on December 15, 2020 by presenting the agency’s milestones for the year as well as its thrusts and strategic direction for 2021-2022.

Dir. Rico said that the formulation of program thrusts for 2020-2022 is an important milestone necessary to achieve DA-BAFE’s vision of a modernized and globally competitive agri-fishery sector in the Philippines.

The bureau’s program thrusts are the National Agri-Fisheries Mechanization, Infrastructure and Processing Development Program; the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) Program; and the Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering Regulations Program.

In accordance with the BAFE’s mandates, the threefold thrusts are geared towards adequate, implementation ready, safe and standard compliant agri-fisheries machineries, and infrastructure for the modernization and industrialization of the Philippine agriculture and fisheries sector, explained Dir. Rico.

The National Agri-Fisheries Mechanization, Infrastructure and Processing Development Program, serves as a master plan for program management and monitoring. Way forward for 2021, DA-BAFE expects major transformations leading to modernization of the country’s agri-fishery sector. Dir. Rico tasked the Programs and Project Management Division (PPMD) to update the NAFMP, strengthen the ABEMIS, master planning, complete NAFIAT Phase 2, and strengthen ABE groups.

The Engineering Plans, Designs and Specification Division (EPDSD) will roll out more trainings and FS, prepare and adopt technical bulletins (SPIS, SPFS, SWIPs, cold storages, and hydroponics/ aquaponics), and prepare and adopt valuation standards of AF machineries and facilities.

The Standards, Regulations and Enforcement Division (SRED) will roll out registration of agri-fishery machinery owners and successful ABE Youth-GIP, formulate Local Manufacturing Road Map and Code of Technical Standards for AB buildings.

With the integration of the FMRDP to the BAFE structure, the program is set to systematize FMR prioritization and brief congressional staff on FMR guidelines and standards. FMR Network Planning in Regions 1 and 13 and other regions to formulate the FMRDP Master Plan 2020-2030 will be conducted, said Dir. Rico.

Dir. Rico concluded with a brief discussion on BAFE’s legislative agenda including GAA 2022 (AFESA increase for RAED and budget for BAFE, inclusion of NAFMP, and AMTEC funding), Philippine Building Act, Farm Land Levelling and Reconstruction Bill, Urban Agriculture Bill, and Farm-to-Market Road Bill.

With all these planned programs, projects, and activities ready for implementation, the DA-BAFE is on its track towards achieving modernized agri-fishery sector, said Dir. Rico. ###Marshall Louie Asis, Information Officer