(Department of Agriculture logo)

(Department of Agriculture logo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — A lawmaker has filed a bill regulating the practice of the agriculture profession in the Philippines in a bid to make it world-class and globally competitive.

Rep. Douglas S. Hagedorn (3rd District, Palawan), author of House Bill 5212, said there is a need to develop and nurture competent and productive licensed agriculturists given the importance of agriculture in nation building and development.

“This can be done through effective and credible licensure examinations and through regulatory measures, programs and activities that foster their professional growth and development,” Hagedorn said.

The bill will create the Professional Regulatory Board of Agriculture (Board), a collegial body under the administrative supervision and control of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

The Board shall be composed of a chairman and five members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines.

The measure provides that applicants for registration for the practice of agriculture shall be required to pass a licensure examination.

To qualify for the licensure exam for agriculturist, the applicant shall prove that he or she is a citizen of the Philippines or a foreign citizen whose country has reciprocity with the Philippines in the practice of agriculture and of good moral character.

Applicants should be a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a Master of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy degree in any specialized field of agriculture or its allied disciplines that satisfy the six areas of concerned obtained from duly recognized Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-accredited school or its equivalent from an institution of learning in a foreign country.

Another requirement for the licensure exam for agriculturist is that he or she is not convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Hagedorn said the bill mandates the government agencies to ensure that licensed agriculturists shall occupy 80 percent of their plantilla positions.(MNS)