The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) is mandated to lead in the develop postharvest and mechanization sector of the agriculture industry.

Arnel Ramir Apaga, program leader of Magsasakang Mekaniko program (MMP) said that this aims to establish rural agricultural machinery technicians to cater small farm engine services. “A completion certificate will be given to the participants or the TESDA – NCII skills training certificate equivalent after the participants all the requirement for a certified small farm engine mechanic.” he said.

PhilMech is the lead agency in implementing the program while DA, ATI, TESDA, DOLE, and AMMDA are collaborating agencies in its implementation. Apaga said that the collaboration of the agencies may vary from region to region. It will be based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the regional office may draft. “Other regions for example have included DAR in their program.” he added.

DA9 Regional Director Constancio G. Alama in appreciation of PhilMech’s programs, committed for the swift implementation of the Mag-uumang Mekanico program in region IX. “It is one of Secretary Manny Piñol’s directives that we empower our farmers and fisherfolk. This program will also cater the fisherfolk since BFAR has also been providing motorized bancas to its beneficiaries here in the region. ” he said.

According to DA-Regional Agriculture Engineering Division (RAED) chief Engr. Gwendolyn B. Folgo, DA will still be conducting a meeting with TESDA in the coming weeks for the finalization of the memorandum of understanding before it will be launched in the region.

Assistant Regional Director Maria Melba Wee also expressed pleasure on the MMP. She said “our program will be having a Gender and Development module that not only the men can participate in the mechanic training but women as well.”

The Magsasakang Mekaniko Program was formally launched on March 20, 2017 in Davao City and since have trained over 300 farmer-mechanics over the country.# (INFO-DA9)

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