CLP concludes landmark year with proactive stance
to regulation, education, legislation
2018 has been a landmark year for CropLife Philippines as it made headway in its advocacy to advance the plant science industry in the country and make a difference in the agricultural sector.
“The year has been fraught with many challenges, but the CLP team soldiered on and rose above it.
As a result, we are proud to report that we have forged many more partnerships with different agencies from the public and private sector. We are also taking proactive measures to help legislators in the crafting and amendments of current laws involving biotechnology by providing studies and updated information that they may consider in moving forward,” CLP Executive Director Edilberto de Luna said in his accomplishment report.
2018 was witness to the unity and harmony of industry stakeholders when they pitched in and submitted Greenbook revisions that representatives agreed to the FPA which is now awaiting approval by the board.
Since regulation is a common issue among the agriculture sectors across the world, CLP also provided updated information on changing policies regarding pesticides regulation and hazard based assessment in the EU to its partner government agencies. CLP also met with members of Congress to underscore the importance of pesticide regulation in the Philippines.
In terms of capacity building, the CLP has conducted the ASEAN Pesticide Harmonization Workshop Phase II, Biopesticides Regulatory Harmonization Workshop, and the Insecticide Resistance Management and Herbicide Resistance Management Workshops for officers and staff of the FPA to equip them with the latest knowledge on the subjects.
“We want to open their avenues and create an environment of learning and sharing the best practices not only in the Philippines but with our ASEAN partners as well,” de Luna explained.
CLP is also actively working together with local governments to harmonize their Empty Container Management Programs to address conflicting rules that may hinder its smooth adoption across the country. The team also continues to conduct trainings on responsible use to sustain the gains of the project in previous years.
CropLife Philippines also facilitated the conduct of a workshop on IRM attended by some 120 participants from the LGU, academe, DA offices, and FPA. IRM is now included in the extension agenda and training curriculum of the LGU, DA, and FPA. These institutions are now engaged in conducting capacity building up to the farmers level.
The CLP also tapped into the power of social media by producing information and education videos on IRM and counterfeit crops which have been viewed by thousands of users on Facebook. The team also continues to produce materials on traditional media to cover all bases in its information drive.
In keeping with its anti counterfeiting efforts, information is only the first step. CLP recognized the need to work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies like the Police, NBI and Prosecution Service to ensure that those selling fake products and prey on unsuspecting farmers are held accountable.
De Luna said that CLP means business when it comes to pushing for the necessary amendments to make the Seeds Act to meet its full potential. It even engaged the services of a law firm to assist in the preparation of the proposed amendments. CLP’s proposal involved revisions on the definition of unlawful seeds, unlawful acts and remedies that were accepted by the DA-TWG. The draft amendments are due for submission to the National Seed Industry Council and Senator Cynthia Villar for filing in the Senate.
As a partner of the DA for countless projects, CLP is also involved in discussions already started by the DA on plant breeding innovations and contribute to the shaping of policy that PBI shall not be covered by biosafety permits.
“We are also happy to note that the CLP advocacy on soil conservation in sloping areas planted to GM Corn is now part of the regular program of the Dept. of Agriculture. We are also part of those who supported the initiatives on the crafting of a New Agribiotech Law. House Bill 7626 has already been filed. CLP has also submitted to Congress a position paper opposing the mandatory GM Labeling Bill so we have been quite busy,” the CLP head said.
“We still have a long way to go, but we are optimistic that we will reach our goals. We are already making headway, little by little and each win is a step towards the end goal. We are ready for 2019 and beyond,” de Luna assured.
Plant science industry commends governments supporting the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology