Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who is running for vice president under the ticket of 1Sambayan presidential candidate Leni Robredo, said they are looking at doubling the country’s agriculture budget in a period of six years if they win in the 2022 polls.
Part of that will be a significant increase in government support for organic agriculture, said Pangilinan who met with organic farmers at May’s Organic Garden in Barangay Pahanocoy, Bacolod City, on Saturday, November 6.
Pangilinan, who is also a farmer, acknowledged the pioneering efforts of Negros in organic farming and assured the farmers of government support under a Robredo administration.
The senator, who was the principal author of the amendments to the Organic Agriculture Act, said he informed the Negros farmers that these have loosened up the restrictions on accreditation and brought it down to the local level.
Now organic farmers can obtain their certification faster and at cheaper rates, he said.
Before the law set the accreditation cost at P100,000 to P200,000, and now it is at P600 to P2,000, so it will encourage more farmers to go into the certification process, he said.
There will be organic certification bodies clustered at the local level, before it was obtained through a third party and the process was complicated and centralized, he said.
“Now the issuance of certifications will be more participatory, it will include the private sector and the local government so that it’s going to actually be high breed self-regulation, it’s the sector itself that protects the integrity of the process of certification,” he said
This is already a law that needs more aggressive information dissemination, Pangilinan said.
The law will expand organic farming, he said
They will put teeth and necessary resources into the law to make sure it is implemented effectively, Pangilinan said.*