July 01, 2021 – In continuation of the series of regional focused group orientations (FGO) that aim to ensure a uniform understanding of the basic concepts of Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) pursuant to the amended Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), set forth to Tuguegarao City to meet with the operating units of the DA-Regional Field Office No. 2. The FGO conducted on June 29, 2021 also provided a venue to clarify the collaboration mechanisms between the BAFS and DA-Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) for agriculture and fishery in the implementation of PGS.
Moreover, an overview of the formation of PGS Groups and the processes of Certification and Accreditation of Core PGS Groups was presented to Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo, the Regulatory Division, the Organic Agriculture Personnel, and the BFAR Regulatory Personnel of the Cagayan Valley Region. These presentations were based on the draft guidelines crafted to provide the criteria and procedure for the certification and accreditation of core PGS groups that intend to operate and apply as organic certifying bodies (OCBs).
During the focused group orientations, the DA-RFO 2 sought clarification on their role, particularly its Regulatory Division, in the implementation of PGS. The BAFS clarified that, the Regulatory Division of DA-RFOs will be requested to assist during the conduct of audits to organic certifying bodies (OCBs), inspection of farms as core PGS groups, and monitoring of registered organic operators and post-market surveillance of produce and products with organic claim.
To date, the BAFS has conducted a total of six (6) focused group orientations in DA-RFO 1 (Ilocos Region), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), RFO 3 (Central Luzon), Region 5 (Bicol Region), Region 7 (Central Visayas), and Region 2 (Cagayan Valley).
Another round of the focused group orientations is scheduled this July 2021 in regions 4A, 4B, 8, and 9. ###
Figure 1. Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo provided a short
welcoming message to the Regulatory and Organic Agriculture
personnel of DA-RFO 2, in full support of the
formation and operationalization of PGS groups.
Figure 2. Orientation proper with the DA-RFO 2 Regulatory Division, Organic Agriculture personnel,
and BFAR Regulatory personnel on the process of certification and accreditation of core
PGS groups towards becoming organic certifying bodies.
Figure 3. Mr. Vicente D. Limsan, Jr. OIC Supervising Science Research Specialist, BAFS-OAD,
facilitated the Open Forum and clarified the queries of the DA RFO 2 participants regarding the
operationalization of the Participatory Guarantee System in the Cagayan Valley Region.