In line with its goal of having a pool of competent Resource Speakers for the Capacity Enhancement Activities for the beneficiaries of composting facilities, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) through the Compost Production Implementation Team (CPIT) attended  a one-day Training of Trainers on Philippine National Standards on Organic Agriculture and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). The topics discussed will be part of the refresher trainings and training on the operation and maintenance of Composting Facility for Biodegradable Wastes (CFBW) and Small-Scale Composting Facility (SSCF)  for the beneficiaries of composting facilities to be properly guided and encouraged to be certified organic agriculture farms and accredited PGS Groups.

Mr. Jeffrey S. Garrido and Ms. Moraine M. Sumague-Ablaza of the Organic Agriculture Division of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) served as Resource Speakers and discussed the topics on the Certification and Accreditation of PGS; PNS/BAFS 183:2023 (Organic Soil Amendments and Plant Supplements – Product Standard – Specifications) and PNS / BAFS 291:2019 (Code of practice for the production of organic soil amendments).

The Philippine National Standard for Organic Agriculture (PNS OA) was originally prepared and adopted in 2003 for the purpose of promoting organic agriculture and enhancing market competitiveness by providing a uniform approach to the requirements on conversion, crop production, livestock, processing, special products, labeling, and consumer information.

Further, the PGS, as a norm in third-party certification systems, aims to provide a credible guarantee for consumers seeking organic produce. The difference is in the approach: direct participation of farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the verification process is not only encouraged in PGS, but moreso required.

This Training of Trainers is conducted with the full support of the BSWM Management headed by Director Gina P. Nilo, Ph.D. and Assistant Director Denise A. Solano in accord with the agency’s mandate on the sustainable management of soil and water resources for agriculture.