Archive for October, 2010

Photo Release, October 14, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (third from left) receives a framed photograph of different colored rice and varieties from convenors of Go Organic! Philippines as a token of appreciation for his support and commitment to promote organic farming during a recent dialogue at Panggo’s Grill and Restaurant on Timog Avenue, Quezon City.  In photo are (L-R) La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) president Horacio “Boy” Morales, La Liga managing director Roland Cabigas, Alaminos City mayor Hernani Braganza, Agriculture undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and UPLB dean of Graduate School Oscar Zamora.  Alcala recently signed the  implementing rules and regulation for RA 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, institutionalizing funding support for organic agriculture programs and projects in the Philippines.

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Organic Agri IRR to institutionalize funding for organic agri programs, projects – La Liga

The implementing rules and regulation of Republic Act 10068 otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 will institutionalize funding for the country’s organic agriculture programs and projects once effectively put in place and implemented.

This was stressed by Go Organic! Philippines convenor Roland Cabigas, who called on the approval by the congressional oversight committee on agriculture and fisheries modernization of the proposed IRR which was signed and submitted by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alacala to the agriculture committees of the Philippine Senate headed by Senator Francis Pangilinan and the House of Representative led by Batangas 4th District Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza early this month.

Cabigas, managing director of La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) which acts as the secretariat of the Environment Cluster of the Alternative Budget Initiative said Rule 25.1 of the IRR states funds shall be allocated out of the 50 million appropriation for the promotion and development of organic fertilizer, “to support the coordination, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, of the research, development and extension activities on the Organic Agriculture Program.”

On the other hand, Rule 25.2 states that: “The DA shall thereafter allocate the amount of at least 2% of its annual budget for the implementation of the Organic Agriculture Program.

La Liga was part of the technical working group composed of representatives from various national government line agencies led by the DA, local government units (LGUs) and citizens groups that crafted and refined the proposed IRR through nationwide consultations early this year.

“Under the proposed IRR, funding support for the promotion and development of organic agriculture becomes automatic,” Cabigas said.

He said that once approved by Congress, programs and projects geared towards the promotion and development of organic farming, will be sustained.  Such, he said, will promote the shift from conventional farming to more ecologically-sound food production practices that promotes low carbon development in agriculture.

A development policy research and advocacy nongovernment organization, La Liga has been calling for a more climate sensitive 2011 budget through increased budget allocation.  It is proposing for an additional P7.4 billion on top of Malacanang’s original budget proposal for the environment and natural resources sector of P13.1 billion, which will include the promotion and development of organic agriculture in the Philippines.

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.

Cabigas added that the IRR pushes for the promotion of organic agriculture as a framework and strategy that should guide the agricultural aspect of the new MTPDP currently being crafted by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Republic Act 10068, otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, was signed into law on April 2010.

Pres. Aquino’s first 100 days

DA chief ok’s IRR for Organic Agri law; congressional ‘approval’sought

ADVOCATES of organic farming on Thursday hailed the signing of the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for Republic Act 10068 which is expected to boost the promotion and development of ecologically-sound food production practices in the Philippines.

Roland Cabigas, a convenor of Go Organic! Philippines said the crafting of the IRR , which was signed by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, significantly marks Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s first 100 days in office.

The final IRR for RA 10068 has been submitted by the Department of Agriculture to the agriculture committees of the Philippine Senate headed by Senator Francis Pangilinan and the House of Representatives headed by Batangas 4th District Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza last week.  The proposed IRR will be reviewed by the congressional oversight committee on agricultural and fisheries modernization.

Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, a convenor of Go Organic! Philippines echoed Cabigas’ sentiment, saying it is considered a key reform achievement of the Aquino administration in promoting sustainable agriculture and food self-sufficiency for the country.

Branganza, concurrently the secretary general of the League of Cities of the Philippines, pioneered local government initiative in support of organic farming through allocation of funds and resource mobilization directed towards the promotion and development of organic agriculture 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.

For his part, Cabigas, managing director of La Liga added that 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 (MTPDP) currently being crafted by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for 2011-2016.

La Liga, a development policy research and advocacy nongovernment organization is a member of Go Organic! Philippines, which implemented the Organic FIELDS Support Program (OFSP) last year.  OFSP is a national program which aims to promote the shift from conventional to organic farming.

“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.

La Liga was part of the technical working group composed of line agencies of different departments headed by DA and citizens’ groups that crafted and refined the IRR.

Republic Act 10068, otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, was signed into law on April 2010.

According to Cabigas, more importantly, the IRR aims to address the perennial problem confronting progressive legislation about the absence of funding support, by allocating at least 2% of the annual DA budget for organic agriculture programs and projects.

“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.

Further, Cabigas said the IRR provides for a transition period for the equal application of first, second and third party certification for organic agricultural produce.