MURANG SERTIPIKASYON SA ORGANIC PRODUCTS, APRUB SA SENADO

TULUYAN nang inaprubahan ng Senado ang isang panukalang batas na magbibigay ng murang sertipikasyon sa produktong organiko upang makatulong sa maliliit na magsasaka, ayon kay Senador Cynthia Villar.

Sa pahayag, sinabi ni Villar na marami nang Filipino ang makakakuha ng malusog at ligtas na farm products dahil sa pagkakaroon ng sistema ng organic product certification na abot-kaya ng magsasaka.

Sa kanyang pagdepensa sa committee report na inaamyendahan ang Republic Act 10068 o Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, sinabi ni Villar, chairman ng Senate committee on agriculture and food na “farmers find the cost of third party certification with the tag price ranging from 42,000 to 150,000 per crop, valid for only one year to be exorbitant.”

“This amount is way beyond the purse of small farmers who have the perennial problem to access even a small capital for production. Only rich farmers or corporations can afford third party certification. The provision has become a deterrent and a disincentive for small farmers comprising a large percentage of the farming population,” ayon kay Villar

Si Villar ang may akda ng Senate Bill No. 1911 na nagmumungkahing magtatag ng Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) bilang alternatibo sa third-party certification.

Ang PGS ay nagkakahalaga lamang ng P600 hanggang P2000 sa mga magsasaka, pundasyon nito ang tiwala at integridad ng mga magsasaka at konsyumer na nagsasagawa ng kanilang certification process sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa certification standards, guidelines, regulation and processes na tugma sa sinusunod ng third party certification.

Binigyang-diin ni Villar na ang PGS ay sumusunod at tanggap ng international organic movements tulad ng International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement.

Kinilala rin ito ng Food and Agricultural Organization bilang pro-small farmer alternative sa third party certification.

“Aside from environmental protection, increased farmer profitability is also a great motivation to promote and develop the organic industry. It promotes the use of natural and farm-based resources and inputs like organic fertilizer, which would yield to less input cost on the part of the farmers,” pahayag ni Villar.

Ang National Organic Coordinating Office at ang Office ng DA Secretary ang gagabay sa National Organic Agriculture Board na siyang magiging Secretariat ng Organic Program. ESTONG REYES

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