The provincial board of Benguet has recently approved an ordinance increasing the incentives of barangay agricultural extension workers to assist them in performing their duties in the 140 barangays of the province.
In Provincial Ordinance 2022-309, which amended Ordinance 2020-269 that established the Barangay Agricultural Extension Workers (BAEW) Program, the board unanimously approved the increase in the amount of monthly incentives from P800 to P1,000 per worker.
The updated incentive came after Office of the Provincial Agriculturist requested for an increase in incentives to be at par with the incentives given to Barangay Biosecurity Officers (BBO).
“The board finds merit in the request considering that both the BAEWs and BBOs are extension workers performing almost similar functions, albeit on different fields,” the ordinance stated.
Aside from the P1,000 incentive, traveling allowances shall also be given to BAEWs to attend capability training conducted by the province at least twice a year.
Workers from Itogon, La Trinidad, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay shall receive a travel allowance of P300 while those from Atok, Bakun, Bokod, Buguias, Kabayan, Kapangan, Kibungan, and Mankayan will receive P500.
Each municipality may give monetary counterparts to their respective BAEWs.
As of March, there are 132 volunteer workers spread in the 13 towns of the province. Among the roles of BAEWs are promotion and collaboration in the implementation of projects and programs from the national government as well as local government units.
In 2020, the board passed ordinance 2020-269 which established BAEW program and granted incentives to these volunteers.
The OPAG stated there are 69,000 farmers who are now under the agriculture department’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture program, out of the 80,000 total number of farmers in the province.
The program aims to be a reliable source of data information to be used as basis in the implementation of various programs as well as the formulation and evaluation of policies of the Department of Agriculture. – Ofelia C. Empian