February 18, 2014 – Republic Act (RA) 10601, the “Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (AFMech) Law,” was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on June 5, 2013, to encourage farmers and fisherfolk to use modern, cost-effective, and environment-friendly equipment as well as adopt new post-harvest technologies to enhance productivity. The law, a consolidation of Senate Bill 338 and House Bill 6548, was approved during the bicameral conference on March 16, 2013.

Super Trade Enterprises (STE) has actively participated in the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the said RA. Mr. Joel Panagsagan, Vice President for Marketing and External Affairs of STE, serves as chairperson for drafting Article IV of the IRR entitled Local Assembly, Manufacture, Supply and After-Sales Service. Article IV includes Section 15 (Local Assembling and Manufacturing), Section 16 (Incentives for Local Manufacturers and Assemblers of Agri-Fisheries Machinery) and Section 17 (After-Sales Service).

Republic Act 10601 mandates the crafting of a National Agri-Fishery Mechanization Program by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to promote an environment conducive to local assembling and manufacturing of equipment for agricultural and fisheries production, processing, and marketing. The program will include research grants, credit, regulation, and local development and manufacture of machinery. It will set quality, safety, and performance standards as well as guidelines for registering ownership of machinery. Agricultural and fisheries machinery and equipment will be tested and evaluated by government, with owners registering them with the agriculture offices of local government units.

RA 10601 will be a big help not only to the agriculture and fishery sector of the country but also to the manufacturers, distributors and dealers of agri-fishery machinery and equipment. This Act will boost Philippine agriculture mechanization through farmers and fisherfolk’s use necessary and appropriate machines and equipment to improve the traditional way of farming here in the Philippines.

(with reports from Manila Bulletin retrieved from> last February 7, 2014)