Senator Cynthia Villar expressed her gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte who enacted Republic Law (RA) 11511 on December 23, a measure that aims to strengthen organic farming in the Philippines. The legislation was primarily drafted and sponsored by Villar, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee.
RA 11511 amends RA 10068 or the 2010 organic farming law and sets up a more affordable and accessible certification system for organic products, the participatory guarantee system (PGS). This is an alternative to third-party certification, which ranges from 100,000 to 120,000 P per crop, compared to only between 600 and 2,000 PhP in the new PGS.
The new organic law will benefit more than 165,000 organic farmers in the Philippines, the majority of whom are smallholder farmers. According to Villar, it is important that small farmers can afford organic certification as they are the major force in the country’s agricultural sector.
“RA 11511 will provide a more affordable organic certification system, which will allow small farmers to get the certification they need. The exorbitant cost in the past prevented small farmers from practicing organic farming and also made organic produce expensive for many Filipinos, ”added Villar.
The new law, according to Villar, provides the impetus for further growth of organic farming in the country. This will greatly benefit the environment since organic farming is respectful of the environment because it promotes the use of natural resources and inputs such as organic fertilizers. The senator promoted the composting of kitchen and garden waste into organic fertilizer that farmers can produce on their own, instead of buying it in the market.
RA 11511 also creates the National Organic Agriculture Program-National Program Coordinating Office (NOAP-NPCO) to manage the effective implementation of the National Organic Agriculture Program, and will serve as the planning, secretariat and coordinating office of the National Organic Agriculture Board. (NOAB). ).
The new law also restructures, strengthens and empowers the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), which will provide technical assistance to NOAB and NOAP-NPCO.
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