SOUTH COTABATO, August 4, 2021 – The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program partnered with the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) in introducing the Participatory Guarantee System seal, which is linked to organic farming, in Region 12 through a focused group orientation.
SAAD Director Myer Mula discussed the Republic Act 11511 or the Modified Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 and the benefits of the newly-launched PGS seal to the DA and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) teams on August 3 at the The Farm, Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City.
The act intends to enhance local organic food and non-food production, as well as the adaptation of an organic agriculture system.
Meanwhile, the PGS mark is a certification option for small organic farmers and fisherfolk.
In a speech, DA Secretary William Dar said “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.”
The Philippine PGS Guaranteed Organic Mark bears the National Organic Agriculture Program logo and the words ‘Philippines’ and ‘Guaranteed’ enclosed in a rectangular border with colors of the Philippine National Flag.
It will serve as evidence that farmers’ products were produced under a certified organic management system following the minimum requirements of applicable current Philippine National Standards related to organic agriculture.
The PGS will be beneficial for the SAAD beneficiaries of Cotabato, Sarangani, and Sultan Kudarat as most of them are into organic farming. Like the upland rice production, instead of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, farmers use ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers like animal and plant wastes.
During his visit, Dir. Mula also looked into the performance of the SAAD Program in 2021.
SAAD 12’s First Semester of 2021 Accomplishment
Also presented during the activity is the first semester of 2021 SAAD performance in the region for both agriculture and fishery sectors.
For agriculture, it has obligated 74% (Php 84,896,646.16) from its Php 114,396,540 2021 budget; and has disbursed 60% (Php 50,637,718.37).
As reported by Ms. Czarina Go of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the region has a cumulative obligation (2017–2020) of 99.2% (Php 110,849,000) and a disbursement of 99% (Php 110,671,000) from their Php 111,727,000 allocation. Since it’s a three-year implementation, they only have a budget for the program management office in 2021.
“Collecting and evaluating pertinent data to acquire a comprehensive picture of the current state of a project and a conducive learning environment is the goal of this meeting. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, that’s why I’m here. We should help one another to fulfill our goals for our farmers and fishers,” said Dir. Mula.
“We have to strengthen our database integrity because that is our main concern. You have to hit the targets and ensure that the data we collected from the ground is reliable, accurate, and ultimately valid,” he added.
Public relations is one of the most successful ways to expand internet visibility and establish a strong and reputable image.
SAAD Focal Person Maimona B. Amil also encourages the SAAD staff to complete the data and always submit their reports on time.
“The ultimate purpose of the evaluation is to establish a clear data baseline from which to build goals and plans to achieve them. We have to practice what Dir. Mula suggested to us and implement it to maintain these qualities. Also, we have to strengthen our press releases gathering because in today’s world, everyone is digitally linked and this will help SAAD’s visibility to the target audience,” said Ms. Amil.
Aside from the DA and BFAR SAAD teams, the activity was also participated by the BAFS and Organic Agriculture regional staff. ###
Jennifer Valcobero , SAAD NPMO Public Relation and Comms Officer
Mark Anthony C. Marfe, SAAD 12 IT/IO