January 22, 2021. One of the objectives of developing a standard is to increase global competitiveness of our Philippine agriculture and fishery products. This year, the Department of Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) requested the BAFS to develop the Philippine National Standard (PNS) on Heirloom Rice. Through the development of a standard, the rice growers hope to sustain the production of quality organic heirloom rice, to ensure environmental management and protection, and to empower the rice farmers.
To discuss the project requirements and collaboration mechanism, the BAFS led by Dir. Myer Mula chaired the inception meeting with the technical personnel of DA-CAR representing the Regulatory Division (Mr. Ruben Dulagan and Mr. Landes Teofilo), Field Operations Division (Ms. Virginia Tapat and Ms. Precil Sales) and Research Division (Dr. Luis Lang-oy, Ms. Josie Dasayon and Ms. Sarah Balloyan) conducted last January 20-21, 2021. Ms. Farlash Pancho presented the mandates of DA-BAFS highlighting the standard development process and the importance of stakeholder engagement to the project. The two-day inception meeting narrowed down the scope of the proposal from heirloom rice to the organic agriculture production of traditional rice varieties. The change of scope was made to emphasize that the production practices to be standardized support the principles of organic agriculture and pertain not only heirloom rice but all traditional rice varieties.
Figure 1- (L-R) Present during the meeting are Ms. Farlash D. Pancho (BAFS), Dir Myer G. Mula (BAFS), Mr. Landes Teofilo (DA-CAR),
Ms. Sarah Balloyan (DA-CAR), Ms. Josie Dasayon (DA-CAR), Mr. Ruben Dulagan (DA-CAR),
Ms. Virginia Tapat (DA-CAR) and Dr. Luis Lang-oy (DA-CAR)
With the challenges brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic, BAFS and DA-CAR shall work closely to deliver the outputs needed to develop the PNS. Both agencies agreed to fast track the project due to the increase of market demand and applications for organic certification of traditional rice varieties. The PNS is targeted to be approved before the end of the 1st semester of CY 2021. ###