July 5, 2021. Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William D. Dar approved the Department Order No 4 s. 2021 Institutionalizing the Collaboration between BAFS and the DA RFOs on July 2, 2021. This Order aims to strengthen the coordination mechanisms between BAFS and DA-RFOs to ensure efficient and effective working arrangements in the areas of standards development, promotion and adoption, and organic agriculture regulations at the regional and local levels.
The BAFS presence in the region will be strengthened through the support of the Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations as the BAFS Regional Coordinator, and three BAFS Regional Focal Groups. The BAFS Regional Focal Groups shall provide the overall coordination and supervision of BAFS activities in the region on standards development and research, standards promotion and adoption, and organic agriculture regulations.
Strengthening of BAFS presence at the regional level is in line with the refocused efforts of the Bureau in emphasizing the important role of standards in ensuring consumer health and safety and making the agri-fishery sector globally competitive. Particularly, the Bureau aims to have at least 75% of the approved Philippine National Standards (PNS) on food safety and 40% of quality-related standards as basis for mandatory regulations, 80% of developed PNS promoted through the development of knowledge products and conduct of learning and development (L&D), organic agriculture-related regulations effectively and efficiently implemented, and ultimately for these standards to be used in domestic trade by 2025.
The structure, roles and responsibilities, and expected outputs between BAFS and the DA-RFOs as stated in the DO are mutually beneficial and reinforcing. With the defined structure and terms of reference, a more efficient and effective work arrangement between BAFS and DA-RFOs is expected. ###