January 15, 2021. As the year 2021 starts, the Bureau embarks on a new task with the approval of the Republic Act No. 11511 or the Act Amending the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. Taking effect on January 21, 2021, the RA 11511 transfers the function of technical and administrative support for the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) from the BAFS to the National Program Coordinating Office of the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP-NPCO). In order to facilitate a smooth transition, a meeting between the BAFS and the NOAP-NPCO was held on January 11, 2021 to discuss the details on the NOAB Secretariat functions. The BAFS, led by Director Myer G. Mula and Assistant Director Mary Grace R. Mandigma, presented to the NOAP-NPCO the mandates and functions of the NOAB Secretariat per RA 10068, the existing NOAB technical committees and its functions, accomplishments of the NOAB from FY 2012 to 2020, and the proposed priority agenda and calendar of activities for FY 2021. In addition, the two offices discussed some of the provisions of RA 11511 to provide clarification and come up with proposed provisions for its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that is currently being drafted.
The transfer officially concluded during the Ceremonial Turnover held on January 15, 2021 at the Agricultural Training Institute - Rural Development Education Center (ATI-RDEC), Quezon City. The ceremonial turnover was graced by Undersecretary Zamzamin L. Ampatuan, Alternate Chairperson of the NOAB, together with the newly appointed non-government members of the NOAB for FY 2020-2023 - Dr. Victorio Fernando D. Nacpil, Small Farmer - Luzon Representative; Mr. Renato D. Dela Cruz, Small Farmer - Mindanao Representative; Mr. Roldan C. Paraguison, Non-Government Organization Representative; Mr. Henry James M. Sison, Agribusiness Firm Representative; and Dr. Adeflor G. Garcia, Academe Sector Representative.
In his speech during the ceremony, Director Mula described the Bureau’s decade of service to the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) as the technical and administrative secretariat to the NOAB. He gladly welcomed the new mandate provided by RA 11511 and expressed BAFS’ commitment to continue its service to the organic agriculture industry, by maintaining and upholding excellence and quality deserved by the stakeholders from the highest policy-making body, down to the grassroots (farmers and fishers) to be benefitted by the consumers.
In conclusion, Undersecretary Ampatuan commended the BAFS for a “job well done” in providing technical and administrative support to the NOAB. He expressed his support to the NOAP-NPCO in its new undertaking as the technical and administrative secretariat to the NOAB.
The BAFS sets forth the development of mechanisms that will ensure the effective implementation of certification and accreditation of Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) in the country. ###