Mary Grace R. Mandigma
Special Order No. 665 Series of 2021 - In the exigency of service, MS. MARY GRACE R. MANDIGMA, Assistant Director, BAFS, is hereby
designated as OFFICER-IN-CHARGE, DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURE AND
FISHERIES STANDARDS (OIC, DIRECTOR-BAFS), in concurrent capacity with her functions as
Assistant Director of BAFS and her other designations.
As such, she shall perform the functions, duties and responsibilities inherent to the designation and such others as directed by the Secretary.
She shall be entitled to RATA, traveling allowance, per diems, and other incidental expenses that may be incurred in the performance of her functions, duties and responsibilities as designated, chargeable against BAFS funds, subject to existing government accounting and auditing rules and procedures.
All officials and employees of the Department, including its Bureaus, Attached Agencies and Corporations, and Regional Field Offices are hereby directed to give their full support and cooperation to OIC, Dir. Mandigma in the performance of her duties and responsibilities.
This Order shall take effect on September 15, 2021 and shall remain in force unless revoked in writing. All orders, memoranda, and issuances inconsistent herewith are deemed revoked.
Done this 14th day of September 2021.
Myer Guerrero Mula as the National Program Director for Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) and Special Adviser for Research and Seed System of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Dr. Mula is also the OIC-Director of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) from November 2020 up to the present.
From the very first day that Dr. Mula set his foot at the BAFS office, he saw to it that everything will be in its proper order. Seeing the inadequacy of the current workforce vis-à-vis the number of hired personnel, he immediately initiated the total recall of all BAFS employees, (detailed and reassigned) permanent and contract of service, from other offices back to its mother agency, the BAFS. He likewise pushed for the designation of an Assistant Director to provide a solid support in the overall operations of the Bureau.
As a writer and editor, Dr. Mula did not leave a stone unturned when he positively critiqued the BAFS website – from the color scheme, design, layout, contents and execution – he was instrumental in its overall transformation, as well as BAFS’ other media platforms. Currently, the BAFS website has become more interactive, user-friendly, and a one-stop hub for information that have to do with the various Philippine National Standards (PNS) for agriculture and fishery, machineries, tools, equipment, and structures.
All publications, brochures, news releases, articles and information materials that have been uploaded and published in the website have their corresponding ISSN and ISBN registration numbers from the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), and last June 2021, the BAFS have been given a certification by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) as a registered Publisher. All these were achieved because of Dr. Mula’s persistence and passion to protect ownership of these intellectual properties of the Bureau.
To complement the BAFS’ compliance to the Quality Management System (QMS), Dr. Mula strongly pushed for the crafting and development of a Manual of Operations which serves as a written ‘guide’ document for all BAFS processes and daily operations. It contains all the necessary information that a clientele or stakeholder would want to know about the Bureau. He also instituted the review and revision of the Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 as well as the Logical Framework to give proper guidance to the employees for them to remain in the right track as they perform their duties and responsibilities.
Parallel to this, he was instrumental in streamlining the functions of the BAFS’ divisions, putting more emphasis on its interrelationship, focusing mainly to the tasks that are relevant and contributory to its Major Final Output (MFOs). To further strengthen these functions, Dr. Mula likewise initiated the approval of institutionalizing the Bureau at the regional level through a Department Order No. 4 Series of 2021 titled “Institutionalizing the Collaboration between BAFS and the DA-RFOs” by Secretary William D. Dar.
As one of the science-led Bureau of the Department and a regulatory agency for Organic Agriculture mandated to register organic producers and products, Dr. Mula instigated for the exclusion of PROVISIONAL REGISTRATION and the INCLUSION OF REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLICATION OF EFFICACY TRIAL TERMINAL REPORT before an Organic Biocontrol Agent (OBCA) is accepted for product registration. In effect, the amendment of Department Circular No. 5 Series of 2021 provisions was approved by Secretary Dar.
With the passage of the Republic Act 11511 amending Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, Dr. Mula commenced the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Monthly Rollout Plan and the Focus Group Orientation (FGO) in the Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs).
At the beginning of his career, he was involved with the private agricultural sector for 10 years then moved through the government sector with various designations under the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region. He has served as the Rice and Corn Coordinator; High Value Commercial Crop (HVCC) Coordinator; Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) Regional Focal Person; GOAL 1 Regional Focal Person of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CARFU); Head of the Monitoring Unit of the Highland Agriculture Development Project (HADP) and Head of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP), a foreign assisted projects of the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines. His experiences and expertise also include proposal development and project benefit monitoring and evaluation (PBME).
Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Mula is a renowned international scientist, he was the (Former) Senior Scientist on Seed System of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India from 2008 to 2016. He has been instrumental in enhancing, strengthening and developing seed system model to sustain quality peanut, pigeonpea, and chickpea seeds in India, Africa and Philippines.
He authored and co-authored more than 100 scientific publications (Books, Monographs, peer-reviewed scientific Journals, Paper Presentations). In 2010, he is the corresponding author of a book entitled ‘Lifting the Level of Awareness on Pigeonpea: A Global Perspective’ which was launched by Dr MS Swaminathan, dubbed as India’s ‘Father of Green Revolution’. For manifesting his utmost professional competence and outstanding contribution on the field of Agriculture especially on Seed Systems, he is an Honorary Board Member (Technical/Editorial) of the Green Farming International Journal of Applied Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences since 2011. ###
Director Vivencio R. Mamaril served as the second full-pledged BAFS Director. During his term, he led the transition of the Bureau’s Quality Management System to ISO 9001:2015 version of the standard and the subsequent maintenance of the certification.
Acknowledging the advantages information technology has to offer, Director Mamaril institutionalized the BAFS Online System not only to facilitate the Bureau’s internal processes but also to ease transaction with stakeholders. To this end, he led the development of the BAFS Online Commenting System (OCS) and the Online Registration System for organic agriculture products.
Director Mamaril led the development of the BAFS 2020-2025 Strategic Plan - a manifestation of what the management intends to do and achieve in the next six years as it embarks on a journey towards quality and performance excellence. It is crafted not only to serve as a guide for the organization but as well as to communicate clearly its goals and objectives within the given timeframe.
OIC-Director Karen S. Bautista witnessed the issuance of the QMS 9001:2008 certification during her term. She initiated the establishment of the DA Pool of Experts (DAPE) through the drafting of the Department Circular that will serve as its legal basis. She also finalized and initiated the submission of the proposed additional 65 plantilla positions to perform the additional mandates of the BAFS.
She initiated work pursuant to Department Order 4 series of 2017 on the Department Policy on rationalizing and Strengthening DA National and Regional Laboratory Services, which identified BAFS as the Lead Coordinator for efficient and strengthened DA Laboratory networks and provide proficiency testing services for the DA laboratories.
She likewise contributed to the ranking of BAFS as a “Better” performing agency in the Granting of 2016 Performance-Based Bonus (PBB).
OIC-Director Karen Kristine A. Roscom supervised the installation of the Bureau’s Quality Management System certifiable to ISO 9001:2008 standard.
Through her leadership, the manpower complement of the Organic Agriculture Division (OAD) was successfully filled up. OIC-Director Roscom ensured that the functions of the BAFS divisions were also streamlined and its regulatory function pertaining to organic agriculture successfully fulfilled. For this purpose, she led the passing for approval of five (5) Department Circulars. On the forefront of ensuring food safety at the farm level, particularly for crops, the BAFS during her term was able to grant 46 GAP certificates to qualified farmers - the highest number of certified farms since the institutionalization of the PhilGAP program.
She pulled off a very successful hosting of the APEC - Food Safety Cooperation Forum in Cebu City in 2015.
She also manifested active involvement during the crafting of the IRR of the Food safety Act (FSA), pushed for the approval of the ASEAN Standards on Organic Agriculture (ASOA) and the implementation of its succeeding projects, and hugely contributed to the ranking of BAFS as a “Better” performing agency in the grinding of 2016 Performance-based Bonus (PBB).
Director Leo P. Cañeda, as the next officer-in-charge, continued efforts for Quality Management System certifiable to ISO 9001:2008 standards wherein the 1st Internal Quality Audit (IQA) team training was conducted for QMS 9001:2008 certification.
It was during his term that “Isang Dekada” ng National Organic Agriculture Convention (10th NOAC) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) was successfully hosted by the Bureau. He also hosted the National Briefing on the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) in coordination with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
As the Bureau’s Officer-in-Charge from 2012-2013, Asec. Salvador S. Salacup proposed for the permanent plantilla positions of the Organic Agriculture Division (OAD) and initiated the creation of the Organic program roadmap. He also expanded BAFS personnel complement through hiring of Job Order staff. Supportive of the Bureau’s vision to be ISO 9001:2008 certified, ASec. Salacup initiated the various capacity-building activities of BAFS personnel on the Quality management System.
Director Gilberto F. Leyese served as the first full-fledged Director of BAFS.
He served for a decade and was instrumental in the approval of 17 plantilla positions of the Bureau, including the provision of a 3-storey BAFS building infrastructure as permanent office.
Director Layese was the champion of the Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP), Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) and Organic Agriculture Programs. A mover for the passing of the Organic Agriculture Law (RA 10068) and its implementing rules and regulations, Director Layese spearheaded the initiation of its plans and programs.
His influence also transcended to ASEAN region as he was the initiator of several ASEAN working groups and task forces. Expert Working Group on Good Agricultural Practices (EWG-GAP), Task Force on ASEAN Standards for Horticultural produce and Other Food crops (TF-MASHP) and Task Force on ASEAN Standard on Organic Agriculture (TF-ASOA) to name a few.
Director Layese also made sure that BAFS is visible internationally by convening numerous APEC-funded projects and hosting the 17th Session of the Codex Committee on the Food Import and export inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS).
Dr. Maria Concepcion C. Lizada was the first OIC Director of BAFS.
She introduced BAFS' participation to the Codex Alimentarius Commission as Philippine Codex Contact Point. During her stint at BAFS, she served as the Philippine representative to the Codex Alimentarius Commission - Executive Committee as the representative for Asia.
She actively participated in the deliberations of Codex, paving the way for the Committees to consider and reflect the Philippine position in the Codex General Standard for Fats and Oils and Codex Standard for Desiccated Coconut Oil, among others.