The Department Circular No. 04, Series of 2020 otherwise known as the Guidelines on the Registration of Organic Soil Amendments (OSA) Producers and Products has been approved and consequently published in Tempo on April 17, 2020 (Friday). Starting May 3, 2020 (Sunday) the said Circular is now effective and will be the basis for OSA producers and products seeking for registration with BAFS.

The 2011 magnitude 9 Japan earthquake caused a tsunami with 30-foot waves and damaged several nuclear reactors in the area, one of which is the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP). The FDNPP nuclear accident was rated as Level 7 on the International Nuclear Events Scale radioactive material with widespread health and environment effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures [1]. The Japanese government's actions in cases of nuclear accidents are guided by Japan Food Sanitation Act No. 233 of 1947 and Japan Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness or Act No. 156 of 1999.

QUEZON CITY –The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (DA-BAFS) Draft Strategic Plan is coming together. Just recently, the Bureau held the Workshop on Strategic Plan Formulation as part of its on-going activities towards the development of its 5-year Strategic Plan. The Bureau’s key personnel revisited mission, vision and core values. Using the outputs of the previous workshops, the Strategic objectives, risk management and performance scorecard for learning and development, internal process, stakeholders and financial performance were then formulated. The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Trygve Bolante and Mr. Peter Dan Baon of the Development Academy of the Philippines’ Center for Governance (DAP-CfG).

The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAFS) is mandated by the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 to be the competent authority for organic agriculture. DA-BAFS has developed new Philippine National Standards (PNS) relevant to organic agriculture. In line with the A.2 Standard and Normative Documents of the organic certification scheme (Annex A of Department Circular No. 01, Series of 2018), the following developed standards shall become normative documents for the organic certification scheme in the Philippines:

On a Sunday Afternoon of January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano started spewing plumes of smoke and ashes. From Alert Level 2, the warning issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) escalated to Alert Level 4 in a matter of 5 hours [1]. As of January 13, 2020, the pyroclastic materials expelled by the volcano reached as far north as Central Luzon [2].