May 10, 2021. The BAFS in collaboration with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) organized a virtual orientation on Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) pursuant to the newly-signed Republic Act No. 11511 or the Act Amending the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. The virtual orientation is among the activities identified in the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) rollout plan for the implementation of PGS in the country. It intends to harmonize the understanding of the partner implementing agencies on the basic concepts of PGS per RA 11511. The virtual orientation was attended by BAFS Assistant Director Mary Grace Mandigma, and Mr. Manuel Dimalaluan, organic agriculture coordinator of the ATI Central Office.
PGS, in reference to RA 11511, refers to a locally-focused quality assurance system which is developed and practiced by people actually engaged in organic agriculture. It is built on a foundation of trust, social network, and knowledge exchange. It is used to certify producers and farmers as actual and active practitioners of organic agriculture.
On behalf of ATI’s Assistant Director Rosanna Mula, Ms. Rosemarie Dulla of the Partnership and Accreditation Division (PAD), emphasized the objective of the activity which is, to have a common understanding of the provisions of the law, specifically on PGS which is an all-new concept among the DA implementing agencies. Meanwhile, BAFS Director Myer G. Mula warmly welcomed the participants from the DA Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs), and the Regional Training Centers of ATI (ATI-RTCs). He stated that the orientation is the appropriate venue to discuss and clarify the role of each partner agency in the implementation of PGS.
The BAFS presented the salient provisions pertaining to PGS of the amended Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. Also presented were the overview of the two (2) draft PGS guidelines developed by BAFS. These guidelines provide the criteria and procedure for the operation and accreditation of PGS groups that intend to operate and apply as organic certifying bodies (OCBs). The BAFS also presented the identified activities set in the 2021 PGS rollout plan, highlighting the role of each agency in the subsequent activities.
After the presentations, clarifications raised on the role or involvement of each agency in the implementation of PGS as well as clarification on the role of the DA regional pre-assessment team were responded to by BAFS.
Simultaneous with the finalization of the draft guidelines is the development of training modules to be used in the upcoming training sessions scheduled in June 2021. The PGS is set to be formally launched on June 4, 2021.
The draft guidelines for public consultation are accessible through this link: http://bafs.da.gov.ph/draft_guidelines_for_PubCon. ###