PASAY CITY – The Special Task Force for the Development of ASEAN Standard for Organic Agriculture (TF-ASOA) was convened for the back-to-back workshops aimed at developing Explanatory Notes for the ASOA and the equivalence assessment of national standards against ASOA, held last 2-4 March 2015 at Midas Hotel, Pasay City. The importance of developing the ASOA explanatory notes is to establish common understanding among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) and to explain its requirements, which will serve as a guide for the competent authorities in assessing equivalence with other AMS. Likewise, the equivalence assessment will be the venue for the alignment of the national standards to the ASOA, in aid for the establishment or harmonization efforts of the AMS for their national standards to achieve equivalence.

Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Guidelines of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (RA 10068), the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) is mandated to perform the following activities:

  • Formulate standards (Section 4)
  • Accredit organic certifying bodies (Section 15)
  • Register organic food and input producers; (Section 16)
  • Serve as the National Organic Agriculture Board Secretariat (Section 10) ; and
  • Foster coordination among various stakeholders and relevant agencies to ensure adoption of Organic Agriculture farming System (Section 11). 

The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards has recently concluded the conduct of public consultative meetings for the draft PNS: Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Mycotoxin Contamination in Cereals.  The consultative meetings were conducted in Cebu City (Crown Regency Hotel and Towers) on 9 September 2014, Cagayan de Oro City (Pearlmont Hotel) on 30 September 2014 and Ilagan City, Isabela (DA – CVRC) on 16 October 2014.

BAFS, together with members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the development of Philippine National Standards (PNS) for Anchovies and Crabs, conducted the nationwide public consultative meetings on the drafts of the PNS for Dried Anchovies, Live Mud or Mangrove Crab and Pasteurized Crab Meat.   The activities aim to present and circulate the draft standards to stakeholders, preferably in the country’s top producing areas, for comments prior to their finalization.