Philippine Agricultural and Engineering Standards (PAES)
The centerpiece program of the government in poverty alleviation, food security, rationale use of resources, global competitiveness, and sustainable development is the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA). A close examination of the major tenets of AFMA points to a very heavy reliance on the support from the field of agricultural engineering. Overall, AFMA places high priority on the following agricultural engineering technologies: irrigation, postharvest, structures, rural electrification, mechanization, alternative energy, domestic water supply, farm roads and bridges.
In responding to the challenge, sound agricultural engineering principles and practices are required in the planning, design, construction, operation and optimization of agricultural engineering technologies, systems and services. At the onset, the availability of Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standards (PAES) is required to ensure to a great extent the success of agricultural engineering projects in terms of technical performance.
Development of standards for agricultural engineering in the Philippines started in the late 1970’s with the Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry creating the Technical Committee on Machinery for agriculture and forestry (BPS/TC56). Later, BPS/ TC56 was replaced by TC 19 and the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) was designated as its official writing office. Pursuant to Articles 5 and 6, Chapter I, Title II of Republic Act No. 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, standards development and its implementation was identified to three agencies: Department of Agriculture (agricultural products), Department of Health (drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances) and Department of Trade and Industry (other products not covered by the two agencies).
It is stated in Rule 59.1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 8435, otherwise known as Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 or AFMA that AMTEC may be designated by the Department of Agriculture to issue standards for agriculture and fisheries machinery. On 30 May 2001, the DA secretary issued Administrative Order No. 11 series of 2001 stating that standard specifications and test procedures of agricultural machinery shall be developed. AMTEC, in partnership with the PSAE and concerned DA agencies, shall be charged with formulation and development of the official agriculture and fisheries machinery standards. Such standards, to be known as the “Philippine Standards for Agriculture and Fisheries Machinery” shall be subjected to public hearings by the NAFC through its Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Committee (AFMeC), prior to its approval by the Secretary of Agriculture.
The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE), Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Agricultural Engineers (PRC-BOAE) and the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers (PSAE), upon realization of the dire need for standards, initiated projects that will develop a set of Philippine National Standards for Agricultural Engineering to contribute to agricultural modernization, national development and global competitiveness.
However, standards development has now been mandated to the DA Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) in compliance with the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (AFMech) Law of 2013. Section 27 of the said law states that, as the premier testing center, AMTEC shall assist BAFS in the formulation of quality, safety, and performance standards of agricultural and fisheries machinery and of accreditation guideline for testing centers.