Authored by the PGS Pilipinas Secretariat.
The organic agriculture movement in the Philippines celebrated a significant event on 23 December 2020. It was on this day that the Republic Act 11511, or Amendments to Organic Agriculture (OA) Act of 2010, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
After almost a decade of dialogue and lobbying with the national government, PGS Pilipinas, the national network of participatory guarantee systems (PGS) practitioners, receives this news with elation. This is because finally an organic agriculture law was enacted that is inclusive and recognises the role of small farmers in ensuring safe, affordable and accessible food.
Previously, Section 17 of the OA Act of 2010 stated that only products certified under Third-Party certification could be labelled organic. This section restricted small farmers who could not afford third-party certification but were practicing organic farming. This deprived small farmers the right to label and market their produce as organic.
RA 11511, however, addresses this key concern. The law finally recognises Participatory Guarantee Systems as a credible and affordable way to certify organic produce.