May 31, 2021. Garlic (Allium sativum L.) or commonly known as ‘bawang’ is a popular ingredient to many Filipino dishes. Aside from being a basic ingredient, garlic is also known for its health benefits particularly in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. In the Philippines, garlic has a lot of grown varieties (e.g. Bang-ar, Batanes Red, Ilocos Pink, Ilocos Tan Bolters, Ilocos White, Mexican, and MMSU Gem) mainly in Region I (Ilocos Norte) and Region II (Nueva Vizcaya). According to the Selected Statistics for Agriculture 2017 by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the volume production for garlic in 2016 was 7.5 thousand metric tons representing the 2.6 thousand hectares area planted and harvested in the Philippines. A total amount of 385.2 million pesos at current prices was also reported in the same year.
In 2018, the Meeting of the Task Force on ASEAN Standards for Horticultural and Other Food Crops (TF-MASHP) requested the Philippines to consider the review of the PNS/BAFPS 51:2007 Fresh Fruits — Garlic — Grading and Classification as one of its action lines in order to meet the quality and trade requirements for garlic and onion. Consequently, the members of the Philippine delegation recommended the amendment of PNS Garlic to be aligned with the ASEAN Standard for Garlic (ASEAN Stan 13:2009).
In 2019, the Standards Development Division (SDD) conducted a Field Data Gathering (FDG) in Region I (Ilocos Norte) to gather technical data and information regarding the current garlic farm production practices, which was used by several TWG meetings to further review the working draft PNS being amended. The PNS for Garlic was amended to address current market requirements in relation to grading and size classification, labeling, packaging, and tolerances.
On 20 May 2021, a final stakeholder consultation was conducted to finalize the working draft PNS. The consultation was participated by 26 relevant stakeholders representing regulatory agencies, academic/research institutions, private stakeholders, and garlic growers. The discussion of the working draft PNS was facilitated by the BAFS Management Team, spearheaded by Ms. Karen Kristine Roscom together with Ms. Farlash Pancho, and Ms. Kristel Alarice Aborido. TWG members, Ms. Lilian Pateña of UPLB-IPB, Dr. Bonifacio Cayabyab of UPLB-NCPC, Dr. Perlita Nuevo, and Ms. Leonisa Artes of UPLB-PHTRC led the discussions on specific provisions while comments/recommendations were provided by the participants.
With the conduct of the final stakeholder consultation, the amendment of PNS for Garlic is one step closer to the endorsement of its final draft to the DA Secretary by the end of the 1st semester. ###