December 16, 2020. The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) conducted an online stakeholder consultative meeting on the proposed amendments to the Department Circular No. 05, Series of 2020, Guidelines for the Registration of Organic Bio-Control Agents (OBCA) Producers and Products. The said amendments were a directive from Secretary William D. Dar.
The consultation was attended by BAFS’ registered OBCA producers and certified researchers. BAFS’ OIC-Director, Dr. Myer G. Mula, Assistant Director Ms. Mary Grace Mandigma, Organic Agriculture Division Officer-in-Charge Mr. Mark Matubang, Registration Section Chief Mr. Gerald Cammagay were also present during the consultation. Dr. Mula opened the meeting by emphasizing that the aim of the consultation is for BAFS’ regulatory process to be more scientific-based and focused on protecting the farmers and consumers. A total of twenty (20) participants coming from the OBCA stakeholders attended the activity, as follows:
A. Organic Bio-control Agent (OBCA) Producers
1. Gellie de Leon (Enviro Scope Synergy Inc.)
2. Roy B. Candelaria (Oracle Chem. Corporation)
3. Rex John Celiz (Aktiv Multi Trading Co. Phils. Inc)
4. Carla Mae Laguna (Aktiv Multi Trading Co. Phils. Inc.)
5. Gigi Lin (HOA Trading Corporation)
6. Mayflor Gamino (UPL Philippines Inc.)
7. Felicitos Palis (Agspec Philippine Corporation)
8. Melchor Cuizon (Lapanday Foods Corporation)
9. Leonelle Desales (LEADS Environmental Health Products Corp.)
B. Certified Researchers for OBCA
1. Karen Ardez (NCPC-UP Los Banos)
2. Carl Johnjay Ayen (Research Consultancy Services)
3. Bonifacio Cayabyab (NCPC-UP Los Banos)
4. Constancia Dacumos (Central Luzon State University)
5. Henry Dupo (Philippine Association of Entomologists Inc.)
6. Melvin Ebuenga (NCPC-UP Los Banos)
7. Catherine Magbutay (Crop Protection Association of the Philippines)
8. Aurora Pinon (Benguet State University)
9. Reiofeli Salas-Perez (DOLEŤ Philippines Inc.)
10. Josielyn Trinidad (LEADS Environmental Health Products Corp.)
11. Elsie Gahuman (EAgri Research and Development Services)
Major amendments to the guidelines include the removal of provisional registration status and the inclusion of the requirement on publication of efficacy trial data. The current market authorization of BAFS, through provisional product registration to OBCA products with incomplete efficacy trials, may economically affect our farmers due to insufficiently verified effectiveness of the OBCA products. With the amendment to remove the provisional registration status (only valid for 1 year), the required number of efficacy trials shall be completed prior to application for product registration. This will result in the issuance of full registration only, which is valid for five (5) years.
On proposed publication of efficacy trial data, generated data from local trials are required to be published in either technical bulletins or technical journals of the government or private institutions (e.g., academe) prior to acceptance of OBCA products for registration. Through this mechanism, the public and other interested parties are informed on the performance of the product.
The amendments to BAFS’ manual particularly on the requirements in the conduct of efficacy trials for OBCA products was also presented during the consultation. The amendments include the revised number of efficacy trials, treatments and replication as well as a method of sampling to conform with the requirements of common research practices.
The stakeholders raised their concerns on the implication of the amendments to their current applications, the length of processing time, and confidentiality matter on the product efficacy data. In regard to these concerns, amendments to the guidelines will be subjected for legal review prior to its submission to the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and the DA Secretary for approval.