Posts Tagged ‘Implementing rules and regulation’

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.

Advocates urge P’Noy to institutionalize funding for RP’s organic agriculture

WITH the passage of Republic Act 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, organic farming advocates are now pitching calls for the much-needed funding to ensure its implementation by the incoming administration of President-elect Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino II.

Go Organic! Philippines, a consortium of nongovernment organizations led by the La Liga Policy Institute (La Liga) and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) called on Aquino and his would-be alter-ego in the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure that the law will have corresponding fund or budget for its effective implementation.

“We don’t want the law to end up like the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, which gets no substantial funding for its implementation,” Roland Cabigas, managing director of La Liga and co-convenor of Go Organic! Philippines, said.

The group, which successfully implemented the Organic FIELDS Support Program (OFSP), a national organic program that promotes environment-friendly food production issued the call ahead of the scheduled regional consultation being initiated by nongovernment organizations for the crafting of the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for RA 10068.

The regional consultation sponsored by the Office of Congressman Alcala, among the principal authors of RA 10068, and will be facilitated by La Liga and PRRM.

Around 70 representatives of organic farming NGO stakeholders are expected to take part in the activity dubbed “Consultation on the RA 10068 Implementing Rules and Regulations Formulation for CALABARZON and MIMAROPA Regions” to be held at the Pueblo Por La Playa in Pagbilao, Quezon on June 25, 2010.

The activity, Cabigas said, is a pre-requisite for the crafting of the law’s IRR, which is supposed to be conducted on or before July 26.  The draft IRR is supposed to be submitted to Congress by October 25 – or within the 90-day prescription period after the law was signed by Pres. Gloria Arroyo on April 6, 2010.

Through the regional consultations, Cabigas said they hope to get the consensus of various stakeholders, particularly farmers engaged in organic farming, on how the law is supposed to be implemented and funded by the government.

“Implementing rules and regulation requires budget institutionalization by way of coming up with a regular budget line for organic farming – including training, promotion, production and marketing,” he said.

He added that while the law will take effect right after the IRR has been signed this year, funding for its implementation in the amount of P50 million annually begins only next year.

He said there is a need for P’Noy and his would-be secretary to allocate fund from, possibly, the P500 budget for Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program for rice for 2010 to “start the ball rolling” and fund programs, citing the need to go organic especially when the country is starting to feel the adverse impact of global warming and climate change.

The law seeks the development and promotion of organic farming, or a chemical-free agricultural method in the country.  It establishes a comprehensive organic farming program, which includes incentives for farmers engaged in the production of agricultural crops free from harmful chemical pesticides and fertilizer.

The new law also creats a National Organic Agricultural Board (NOAB) to provide policy direction towards the promotion of organic farming in the Philippines.