LGUs join league promoting organic agriculture in PH

The League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities, and Provinces of the Philippines (LOAMCP Philippines) through its National President, Mayor Rommel Arnado of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, administered an oath-taking ceremony for its 27 new local government unit (LGU) members during the 12th General Assembly and Membership Orientation Program last December 6 at the Iloilo Grand Hotel, Iloilo City.

The new members from Luzon are the municipalities of Malasiqui, Pangasinan; Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur; San Jacinto, Pangasinan; Mapandan, Pangasinan; Victoria, Tarlac; Cabugao, Ilocos Sur; San Ildefonso, Bulacan; and the city of Mabalacat, Pampanga.

From the Visayas islands, the new members are the municipalities of Janiuay, Iloilo; Oton, Iloilo; Siquijor, Siquijor; Tuburan, Cebu; Tubungan, Iloilo; Marbaza, Antique; and the cities of Kabankalan and Iloilo.

From Mindanao, the new members include Banaybanay, Davao Oriental; Salvador, Lanao del Norte; Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte; Tantangan, South Cotabato; Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental; Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental; Molave, Zamboanga del Sur; Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte; Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte; Placer, Surigao del Norte; and the cities of Cotabato, Bislig, and Oroquieta.

"For the new LGU members, LOAMCP Philippines is committed to provide information and training support as they venture into organic agriculture. We are doing our part to contribute to the global goals on food security and ending poverty,” said Arnado.

LOAMCP Philippines is a non-profit, non-government organization composed of local chief executives of municipalities, cities and provinces aiming to promote sustainable organic agriculture development in the country. It organizes a regular general assembly to provide a forum for sharing of best practices and new learnings as well as latest trends and important developments and solutions on organic agriculture. To date, the League has 168 members and continues to invite more LCEs and LGUs. 

It is being supported by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Earlier this year, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued a Memorandum Circular (MC 2019-70) directing city and municipal mayors to become a member of the League.  

As stated in the DILG Memorandum, “All local chief executives are directed to become members of the LOAMCP. The participation and support of all LGUs to this endeavor are integral in pursuing sustainable organic agriculture in the country.”

In yesterday’s General Assembly, the League passed a resolution providing ex-officio membership in its Executive Board to the respective presidents of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, the League of Cities of the Philippines, and the League of Provinces of the Philippines to ensure full support and coordination of its priority agenda.

The advocacy of LOAMCP Philippines focuses on promoting local development and implementation of an organic agriculture agenda and master plan from among its members. Additionally, it promotes the idea that organic farming is synonymous with good governance which primarily addresses food insecurity and hunger, poverty, insurgency, among other societal issues confronting local government leaders and policy makers.

In the forum, several local chief executives aired their concerns on the lack of measures and strategy from the national government to ensure LGUs are properly guided in the development and execution of its plans. The officers of LOAMCP stressed that the primary goal of the League is to bring a united front among local chief executives and LGUs in pushing the organic agriculture agenda and that information and training support may be made available. On the part of the national government, the Department of Agriculture and the National Organic Agriculture Board take the lead in ensuring support is provided to local government units.

More than a hundred local chief executives, city/municipal agriculturists, planning officers, and organic agriculture focal points from several LGUs in the Philippines attended the event and participated in the discussions. Guest speakers which included Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III (DILG), Assistant Secretary Roosque Calacat (DILG), Mr. Rene Famoso (Department of Agriculture Region 6), Undersecretary Orlando Ravanera (Cooperative Development Authority), Ms. Jennifer Chang (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements or IFOAM Organics), and Sundeep Kamath (Biodynamic Association of India) delivered discussions on multiple areas of organic agriculture, including the impact of rice tarrification on farmers and local on-the-ground government initiatives.

"We are very serious in promoting, advocating and executing our respective organic agriculture master plans in the local level. This is the only way to ensure food security and we believe this is our responsibility to make our constituents realize the need for conversion into organic farming," Arnado added.

“This is the path to sustainable development. We need to take action to sustain human life," he added./PR