ITOGON, Benguet – Five members of the Itogon Integrated Organic Farmers Association (IIOFA) – Mildred Fianza, Marilyn Peningeo, Jocelyn Lasdacan, Romeo Casilla, and Nector Copero were awarded the Participatory Organic Certificate (POC) by DA-CAR’s Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) on March 20, 2023.
The awarding of POC is under the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of Republic Act No. 11511, an act amending the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010.
Jun Mayao, head of Itogon Agriculture Cooperative, said that the PGS caters to small-scale organic farmers – doing away with the costly third-party accreditation.
POC indicates that these farmers were able to meet the national standards for practicing Organic Agriculture. The certification is needed to sell their product bearing the ‘Organic’ label (produce grown without chemicals)
Berto Bayeng, Itogon focal person on Organic Agriculture, said that the IIOFA’s POC holders are the Itogon PGS core group. He said that the LGU, headed by Mayor Bernard Waclin, would continue assisting the core group to become an accredited Organic Certifying Body (OCB) under the PGS – where IIOFA can issue PGS certificates to its farmer-member.