/ 24 August 2020

BOHOL 3rd District Rep. Kristine Alexie Tutor is pushing for a bill to strengthen agricultural education in the country through the institutionalization of manpower development for agricultural entrepreneurship in the post-secondary level.

In filing House Bill 7218 or the proposed Entreprenuerial Agricultural Education Act of 2020, Tutor said the persistent devastation brought about by Covid19 has caused immediate and serious health issues for the country.

“While the Department of Agriculture has been exhausting all means to reinforce the sector, its efforts must be combined with complete policies to address specific concerns,” Tutor said in her explanatory note.

The lady solon said her proposed measure aims to support current agricultural entrepreneurship training initiatives that shall be delivered through various means, such as in-school, on the job, and online, given the existing health risks associated with the Covid19.

The measure mandates the establishment of an Agricultural Manpower Education and Entrepreneurship System that will assume a leadership role in the post-secondary, vocational or tertiary level of agricultural and entrepreneurship education, following the completion of the rural farm school’s curriculum in the secondary level.

The Act shall apply to all public and private educational institutions or training centers, and agricultural, industrial and business establishments duly accredited to participate in the manpower education and training for agricultural entrepreneurship.

Under the measure, concessional loan programs shall be developed by appropriate Government Financial Institutions for the purchase of blended learning tools and equipment by Accredited Educational Institutions or Training Centers, such as computers, laptops, tablets, and other ICT devices and equipment necessary to conduct and access related trainings and earning materials.

It also proposes to provide students, upon graduation, funding as start-up capital for their business. Under the bill, the government shall also extend incentives to students for the production and propagation of organic farm inputs.

On the other hand, to encourage agricultural, industrial and business establishments to participate in the system, they shall be allowed to deduct from their taxable income the amount of 150% of the system expenses paid to the accredited dual training system educational institution for the trainees.