Monday, October 25, 2010
Alcala Signs Implementing Rules for Organic-Farming Law
Organic farming advocates gave Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala a “two thumbs up” for signing the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for Republic Act 10068.
Otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, RA 10068 was signed into law by President Arroyo on April 6, 2010. The law primarily aims to promote the practice of organic agriculture and trigger the massive shift from conventional farming to the more ecologically-sound food production practice espoused by going organic.
The crafting of the IRR was initiated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) chief through nationwide consultations among various stakeholders including national and local governments, the academe and citizens’ groups.
Roland Cabigas, managing director of La Liga Policy Institute and a convener of Go Organic! Philippines, said once implemented, the law will boost the promotion and development of organic farming in the Philippines.
The IRR for RA 10068 has been forwarded for review and approval of the congressional oversight committee on agricultural and fisheries modernization.
Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza of Alaminos City, Pangasinan, a convener of Go Organic! Philippines, said the signing of the IRR is considered a key reform achievement of the Aquino administration in promoting sustainable agriculture and food self-sufficiency.
Branganza, concurrently the secretary-general of the League of Cities of the Philippines, promotes organic farming in Alaminos City.
“The IRR for RA 10068 is the first policy document under the Aquino administration that recognizes low carbon development path as a strategic framework in the promotion of Philippine agriculture,” Braganza said.
“The IRR pushes for the promotion of organic agriculture as a framework and strategy that should guide the agricultural aspect of the new Medium Term Philippine Development Plan currently being crafted by the National Economic and Development Authority for 2011-2016,” Cabigas added.
La Liga, a development policy research and advocacy nongovernment organization, was part of the technical working group that crafted and refined the IRR.
“The crafting of the IRR for RA 10068 is a clear demonstration of the new DA administration’s resolve to cause a shift from conventional farming to organic agriculture,” Cabigas said.
More importantly, the IRR aims to address the perennial problem confronting progressive legislation about the absence of funding support, by allocating at least 2 percent of the annual DA budget for organic agriculture programs and projects, he said.
“This will ensure the sustainable development of organic agriculture through the automatic appropriations from the DA’s annual budget certain percent for organic farming,” Cabigas said.
He said the IRR provides for a transition period for the equal application of first, second and third party certification for organic agricultural produce.
By Business Mirror
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