July 07, 2021 – The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) led by Director Myer G. Mula conducted the focused group orientation (FGO) on the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) at Lipa Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (LARES) in Lipa City on July 06, 2021.
The orientation was attended by 42 personnel of DA CALABARZON led by Regional Executive Director (RED) Vilma M. Dimaculangan, Operations and Extension Regional Technical Director (RTD) Dennis R. Arpia, Regulatory Division Chief Dr. Linda M. Lucela, and Organic Agriculture Program Focal Person Ms. Eda F. Dimapilis. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office No. 4A was also represented during the orientation.
During his opening message, Director Mula pointed out that the implementation of RA 11511, particularly its regulatory provisions on PGS, needs a clear and strong collaboration mechanism among the implementing agencies of the Department. More so, a clear delineation of functions among the Bureau, the DA-RFOs, and the regulatory agencies of the DA. RED Dimaculangan added that the orientation is a good opportunity for all personnel of DA CALABARZON to be updated with the current priorities of the Department, such as the PGS under the Organic Agriculture Program.
The BAFS Team presented the overview of RA 11511 and its salient provisions pertaining to the PGS, and the BAFS’ certification and accreditation process of core PGS groups that intend to operate and apply as organic certifying bodies (OCBs). The roll-out of activities relative to the implementation of PGS for FY 2021 was also presented.
After the presentations, the BAFS Team and the participants from the DA CALABARZON had a thorough discussion to clarify the criteria and requirements for the certification and accreditation of core PGS groups, the role of the Regulatory Divisions of the DA-RFOS based on the recently issued Department Order No. 04, Series of 2021 (Institutionalizing Collaboration between the BAFS and DA-RFOs) vis-a-vis the provisions of RA 11511, and the mechanism to ensure the impartiality of the certification procedure of the PGS groups.
Director Mula also highlighted that while the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the RA 11511 and the guidelines are yet to take effect, parallel activities such as capability building activities for the identified priority groups can be initiated by the DA-RFOs in preparation for the full implementation of PGS. RTD Arpia emphasized that apart from the Regional Organic Agriculture Program and the Regulatory Division, other operating units of DA CALABARZON are also involved in the implementation of RA 11511. He pointed out the role of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) in facilitating the market and promotion of organic produce and products.
In her closing message, Ms. Dimapilis reiterated that all operating units of the DA CALABARZON have a role to play and the cooperation among them is significant to ensure the smooth implementation of PGS in the region.
BAFS sets forth to another round of FGOs in regions 8 (Eastern Visayas), 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 11 (Davao Region), and 13 (SOCCSKSARGEN) from July to August 2021. ###
Director Mula formally opened the Focused Group Orientation on PGS held in DA CALABARZON on July 06, 2021. In his opening message, he briefly discussed the objectives of the activity to set the expectations of the participants.
During her welcome message, RED Dimaculangan encouraged all the personnel of DA CALABARZON to become well-versed in all the programs of the DA.
Director Mula and Ms. Calleja responded to the query on the roles of the Regulatory Divisions of the DA-RFOs in the implementation of PGS.
Group photo of the participants during the Focused Group Orientation on PGS held at Lipa Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (LARES) in Lipa City on July 06, 2021. © Arnaldo Gonzales, DA CALABARZON.