MAGARAO, CAM. SUR – Ten members of Bicol’s pioneer Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) core groups namely Pecuaria Development (PDC) Cooperative in Bula, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte Federation of Cooperatives (CANOFECO) in Vinzons, Camarines Norte were the first recipients of Participatory Organic Certificates (POC) from DA-Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS).

From the Pecuaria Development Cooperative (PDC), the five recipients of POC are Franco Pesebre; Archie Tabarangao; Anniebeth Berina; Aldrin Cortez and Jayson Baliber. They were accompanied by PDC General Manager Alejandro Mora Jr. and PDC Chairman Jolly Atole Ludem Molina.

Meanwhile, the members of the Camarines Norte Federation of Cooperatives who received the POCs are Adrian Abordo; Concepcion Palma; Jovie Espanol; Felicisima Velasco and Abel Llander. The awarding was witnessed by the CANOPECO CEO Norma F. Dasco together with Merwin I. Celadez and Jan Lidley D. Velasco, also of CANOPECO.

The POC is a pre-requisite for the accreditation of the group to PGS as Organic Certifying Body.

The IFOAM Organics defined Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) as locally focused quality assurance systems used in certifying producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.

Adelina A. Losa, Chief of the AMAD and focal person of Organic Agriculture Program said that POC also serves as an official endorsement and proof that the core groups underwent inspections and have shown compliance with the current Philippine Standards for Organic Agriculture.

The awarding of Participatory Guarantee Certificate was held at the Sonrisa Farm on July 11, 2023 during the 2023 Mid-year Assessment and Planning Workshop of the National Organic Agriculture Program (LOVELLA P. GUARIN – RAFIS 5)