July 21, 2021. In continuance of the series of focused group orientations (FGO) on Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) pursuant to the provision of the Republic Act No. 11511 or the amended Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) conducted an orientation with the DA Regional Field Office IX (DA-RFO IX) held in its satellite office in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte on July 19, 2021.
The BAFS Team, composed of Ms. Joeve S. Calleja, BAFS Organic Agriculture Division Chief and Mr. Gerald E. Cammagay, BAFS-OAD Registration Section Chief, facilitated the conduct of the orientation. The Team conveyed that FGO aims to harmonize the understanding of the basic concepts of PGS and strengthen collaborations with DA-RFOs. Moreover, it was emphasized that the discussion could further enhance the draft guidelines before the final approval by the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB), pending the signing of the RA 11511’s Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Just like with the other FGO, the BAFS Team presented the salient provisions of the amended Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, particularly those pertaining to the PGS—the PGS Certification and Accreditation Process; and the Rollout Plan for CY 2021. The presentations were based on the provisions of RA 11511 and the draft guidelines that will provide the criteria and procedure for the certification and accreditation of core PGS groups aiming to operate and apply as organic certifying bodies (OCBs) with BAFS.
The orientation was successfully conducted through the presence of the Regulatory Division Chief Dr. Victorino Z. Guillermo, Field Operations Division Chief Mr. Reynaldo M. Campomanes, the RFO Organic Agriculture Focal Group led by Ms. Janice C. Legazpi, and a representative from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD). It was well-noted that proper coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs) must be undertaken to properly disseminate the requirements for PGS accreditation. In addition, the participants deemed it necessary that fee structure for the PGS certification must also be regulated to avoid future concerns on the imposition of fees.
Meanwhile, the BAFS is looking forward to continuing the conduct of FGO in RFO No. 8 (Eastern Visayas) scheduled this month. ###