June 07, 2021. Good news to our small organic farmers and fisherfolk, the Participatory Guarantee System is now formally recognized!
A decade after the enactment of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (RA No. 10068), the law was amended through RA No. 11511. The recognition of the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) as an option for small farmers and fisherfolk to get an organic certification is one of the main provisions of the RA 11511. The Act defined PGS as 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.”
Aimed at increasing the awareness and interest of the public, the Department of Agriculture (DA) formally launched the PGS for organic agriculture on June 4, 2021. The grand launching, hosted by the National Organic Agriculture Program - National Program Coordinating Office (NOAP-NPCO), was in collaboration with the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). This virtual event was attended by delegates from the DA and other partner implementing agencies and institutions namely: Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), local government units, farmer groups, academe, non-government organizations, private sectors, former and current members of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB), and members of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM Asia). Among the attendees physically present in the venue were Engr. Ariel T. Cayanan, Undersecretary for Operations and Agri-Fisheries Mechanization, NOAP-NPCO Director Bernadette F. San Juan, ATI Assistant Director Rosana P. Mula and BAFS OIC-Director Dr. Myer G. Mula.
During his opening message, Secretary William D. Dar emphasized the pivotal role of the farmers and fisherfolk in the implementation of the NOAP, saying that, “We need to ensure that small organic farmers and fisherfolk are not passive participants. We need to actively engage them in the implementation, and give due recognition to their experiences and expertise.”
He added that, “the PGS will significantly reduce the cost of maintaining organic certification, actively involve small farmers and fisherfolk with like-minded stakeholders and advocates of organic agriculture while maintaining the integrity of organic products available in the market.”
Senator Cynthia A. Villar, one of the principal authors of RA No. 11511, recognized the private sectors and nongovernment organizations’ initiatives as one of the driving forces in the enactment of the amended OA Act of 2010. In her keynote speech, she cited that the recognition of PGS is expected to further boost the organic agriculture industry by encouraging the participation of the small farmers and fisherfolk in ensuring the integrity of the organic production.
The grand launching highlighted the overview of the PGS based on the provisions of the amended OA Act of 2010 and the unveiling of the Philippine PGS Guaranteed Organic Mark that was led by the officials of the NOAP-NPCO, BAFS, ATI, and representatives of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB).
The Philippine PGS Guaranteed Organic Mark bears the NOAP logo and the words ‘Philippines’ and ‘Guaranteed’ enclosed in a rectangular border with colors of the Philippine National Flag. It shall serve as evidence that the produce or products have been produced under a certified organic management system following the minimum requirements of applicable current Philippine National Standards related to organic agriculture.
The organic agriculture movement in the country has been a manifestation of private sectors and non-government organizations efforts that propelled government initiatives in support of the industry. As such, all stakeholders are further encouraged to continue working hand-in-hand with the DA and other government agencies in advancing the NOAP and making organic agriculture in the Philippines a competitive and sustainable industry.
The grand launching was streamed live on the official Facebook Page of the Department of Agriculture. The recorded video is accessible through this link: https://www.facebook.com/dacentralphilippines/videos/136337355134843. ###
Official Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Launching Invites
(Clockwise) ATI Assistant Director Rosana P. Mula, NOAB-NGO Representative Mr. Roldan Paraguison, BAFS Director Myer G. Mula,
NOAP-NPCO Director Bernadette F. San Juan, and NOAB Small Farmer Representative for Luzon Dr. Victorio Fernando Nacpil