In the Philippines, the Agriculture Licensure Examination is held yearly by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). This examination is for Filipino citizens who finished a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from a higher educational institution (HEI) which is recognized by the government. The coverage of the Licensure Examination for Agriculturists (LEA) is crop science; soil science; crop protection; animal science; agricultural economics and marketing; and agricultural extension and communication.
The Accredited Integrated Professional Organization for professional agriculturists who passed the LEA is the Philippine Association of Agriculturists (PAA). It is affiliated with other professional associations under the Philippine Federation of Professional Associations (PFPA). The PFPA is the umbrella organization of all professional associations in the Philippines.
The PAA is working closely with the PRC in the Career Progression and Specialization Program (CPSP) for agriculture in the country. This is part of the broader mandate of the PRC in leading the development and operationalization of the CPSP nationwide. A Committee is currently working on the Career Progression and Specialization Program, and Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CPSP-CATS) in agriculture. The PAA will also soon be working closely with the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) through the Technical Panel for Agriculture to provide inputs concerning the operation of higher education programs in agriculture. To date, college graduates of other disciplines in Agriculture do not qualify to take the LEA. There appears that a mismatch exists between the Agriculture curricula taken by these students in college, and the LEA requirements. As the number of licensed agriculturists is increasingly engaged by the HEIs, licensed agriculturists will eventually have to be appointed to serve as members of (1) the Technical Panel for Agriculture; and (2) recognized higher education accreditation bodies in agriculture. This is necessary as the agriculture profession is being positioned as a preeminent and top career in the Philippines.
In defining the agriculture profession and moving it sustainably forward, the PAA actively assists licensed agriculturists in their lifelong professional development through the provision of virtual and in-person continuing education opportunities. Every year, a National Congress and Agriculturists’ Summit is organized. This provides licensed agriculturists with state-of-the-art knowledge about the agriculture profession, advances in scientific and technological developments, and a venue for valuable networking activities. We fervently hope that the voice and expertise of licensed agriculturists will be engaged by the Philippine government and industry in addressing, among others, the food and agriculture sector’s competitiveness, food security; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) associated with the reduction of hunger and poverty; and other related public policy concerns.
by Louie Divinagracia