The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standard (BAFS) is one of the science-based led agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and as the mandated agency for the registration of integrated organic farm and organic input producers and products as per Section 17 of the amended Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (Republic Act 11511). The Bureau conducts its regular review and implementation assessment towards the continuous improvement of the organic agriculture regulatory services. As a result, BAFS streamlined its registration requirements and procedures through the development of the following Circulars:
- Department Circular No. 1, Series of 2021 – Amending Relevant Provisions of the Department Circular No. 5, Series of 2020 entitled Guidelines on the Registration of Organic Biocontrol Agents (OBCA) Producers and Products;
- Department Circular No. 4, Series of 2020 - Guidelines on the Registration of Organic Soil Amendments (OSA) Producers and Products; and
- Department Circular No. 5, Series of 2020 - Guidelines on the Registration of Organic Biocontrol Agents (OBCA) Producers and Products.
The Circulars ensure that the certified organic soil amendments (organic solid/liquid fertilizer, soil conditioner, plant supplements and microbial) and organic bio-control agents (botanicals and microbials) being marketed are compliant with the applicable Philippine National Standards (PNS). These regulatory guidelines contain the following provisions: 1) scope, 2) general provisions 3) the prerequisites for the registration, 4) requirements and procedures for the registration of organic inputs. Hence, providing BAFS the authority to issue Certificate of Registration (COR) for OSA and OBCA producers and Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) for their respective products, valid for five (5) years. Moreover, registered OSA and OBCA producers can import or export registered organic input products.
Experimental Use Permit (EUP) is one of the major requirements for OBCA registration. EUP shall be applied for and issued by BAFS before the conduct of any OBCA efficacy trial. The trial will verify the efficacy of the product under local conditions and generate the data required for registration. However, for OSA, the conduct of efficacy trial is no longer required.
In 2021, the BAFS published the Department Circular No. 01: Amending Relevant Provisions of the Department Circular No. 05 series of 2020, Guidelines for the Registration of Organic Bio-control Agents Producers and Products, as BAFS deemed it important to establish a more reliable and scientific data for the use of organic bio-control agents. Specifically, the amendment focuses on the following: a) removal of provisional registration, hence, requiring the completion of 2 efficacy trials prior to BAFS issuance of full registration of the products, giving assurance that the organic products have been true to its claims with a proven effectivity; and b) publication of generated efficacy trials either in a technical bulletin or technical journal of the government or private institutions (e.g. academe), as to mitigate risks of erroneous inference to the efficacy data.
Further, these interventions complement the BAFS' aim of consumer protection without compromising our principles of confidentiality towards our registered input producers, and demonstrate the evident importance of the efficacy trials to the regulations and consumers’ perspective.
Addressing the consequences incurred during this time of COVID-19 Pandemic, the BAFS continues to support our stakeholders through granting the registration of reliable organic input producers and products applying with BAFS. ###