In 11 July 1977, the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) was established by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB).
Pursuant to the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (AFMech) Law of 2013 (RA 10601), AMTEC was designated as the premier and reference testing center of agricultural and fisheries machineries in the country.
Rule 27.1.1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations(IRR) of the AFMech law states that the UPLB-AMTEC, as the premier testing center of the country, shall perform the following mandates and functions:
- To assist BAFS in establishing standard specifications, test procedures and performance indices for agricultural machinery;
- To conduct test and evaluation of agricultural machinery;
- To publish and disseminate test standards and tests results; and
- To provide technical assistance in the establishment and operation of the testing centers in the country.
Pursuant to the AFMech Law of 2013, AMTEC is mandated to perform the following core programs.
Testing and Evaluation of Agri-fishery Machinery
Section 18 of the AFMEch Law states that “agricultural and fisheries machinery and equipment to be sold in the market shall pass through testing and evaluation by the AMTEC”. The same requirement for machinery testing was reiterated by the DA Secretary in Administrative Order No. 11, Series of 2001.
By the end of 2013, AMTEC had tested more than 2,350 agricultural and fishery machineries including prime movers, irrigation machinery, production machineries, and postharvest equipment. With the implementation of the AFMech Law, the number increased to: 171 in 2014, 228 in 2015 and 396 in 2016.
Recently, there were 689 test applications in 2017, 743 test applications in 2018 and 1,201 test applications in 2019.
Assistance to Standards Development
Section 27 of the AFMech Law states that, as the premier testing center, AMTEC shall assist the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) in the formulation of quality, safety and performance standards of agricultural and fisheries machinery and of accreditation guideline for testing centers.
These standards, upon adoption, are to be used in the preparation and monitoring of specifications and evaluation of the performance of agricultural machineries and serve as the technical reference of all agricultural engineers in the signing and sealing of plans, design and specifications, and other related works in the practice of the agricultural engineering profession.
As of December 2018, AMTEC has already assisted in the production of 12 volumes of PAES comprised of standards for general procedures, rules for structure and metrication, production machineries, postharvest machineries, engineering materials, agricultural structures, and slaughterhouse equipment.”
Training and Information Dissemination
In order to effectively communicate with its clients, AMTEC conducts/ maintains its:
- AMTEC Website
- AMTEC Facebook and Twitter Page
- Training courses on testing and evaluation of machineries
- OJT experience for Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students
- Active participation in scientific conferences to present works on standardization and field tests
- AMTEC staffs as resource persons in workshops and seminars
AMTEC is also part of the technical working group (TWG) of the following:
- Development of Standards for Various Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery (BAFS)
- Agricultural Mechanization Committee (AFMeC; PCAF)
- Advisory Body of the National Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery Manufacturers, Importers, Suppliers, Distributors and Dealers Accreditation (NAMDAC) Board.
- Registration of Ownership of Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery and Equipment, on the Identification and Prioritization of Agri-fisheries Machinery or Equipment and Infrastructure for Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standard (PAES) Development and Recommendation of PAES for Review, Updating, Modification or Revision
- Procurement of Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery
- Training and Extension in Agricultural Mechanization
- Testing and Evaluation Accreditation Advisory Committee (TEAAC; BAFE)
- Preparation of Guidelines on the Issuance of the Compliance Certificate (now Certificate of Conformity) for Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery
- Formulation of Guidelines on the Registration of Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery Manufacturers, Fabricators, Assemblers, Distributors, Dealers, Importers and Exporters (MFADDIE) and their products
- UNESCAP-CSAM Asia Pacific Network for Testing Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM Focal point)
AMTEC as a Testing Center of International Stature
AMTEC is a network member of the ANTAM (Asia Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery) which was formally launched November 18, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. Organized under the umbrella organization of the Center for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization or CSAM (formerly the United Nations Asia and Pacific Center for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery or UNAPCAEM), ANTAM aims to promote the harmonization of testing codes and standards of agricultural machineries applied in the region that addresses quality, performance, occupational safety and environmental sustainability of agricultural machinery.