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.


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