During the endorsement of Philippine National Standards (PNS) for Halal Agri-fishery Products and Codes of Halal Slaughtering Practices for Ruminants and Poultry to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao and Assistant Secretary Davinio Catbagan led the event on 26 April 2016 at the NCMF Conference Room, NCMF, Commonwealth , Quezon City. Dir. Sani D. Macabalang, Chair of the Technical Working Group (TWG), presented the revised draft PNS for Halal. It was also mentioned during the meeting the harmonization of PNS for Halal with the Guidelines on Halal Food of Standards for Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).

         INSPECTOR TRAINING ON RISK-ORIENTED INSPECTION ON THE SCOPE OF ORGANIC FARMING SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA -- The training is intended for the staff of organic certification bodies, specifically their inspectors, and aims to contribute to the use of state of the art inspection methods and instruments by organic inspectors. Determination of focus points for risk-oriented inspections was discussed with emphasis on organic critical points. The approach taught was practically used during the onsite visits. The training used a combination of lectures, group workshops and onsite visit with practical exercises.

Fresh vegetables comprise a huge portion of the typical Thai and Vietnamese diet. With every crunch of a spring roll, a Thai national, or a Vietnamese is almost always certain that his julienned carrots, lettuce, and herbs come from a source that he trusts.

What is the basis of his trust? In Thailand, and in Vietnam, most of the farms are audited so they abide by clean, safe, environmentally sound agricultural practices, and are certified for it. The certified farms number to over a hundred thousand in each of these two countries.

The Department of Agriculture urges farmers to provide safe food for the public by having their farms checked and certified for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).  It may sound like added work especially for a small farm so is it really worth going through all the trouble?

These farmers in Negros share how they are benefiting – economically, socially – from their GAP Certifications.

TALISAY CITY – In line with the upcoming ASEAN Economic Integration by the end of 2015, the ASEAN Member States are gauging its efforts toward achieving its goal of free flow of goods and services across the ASEAN Region. A project funded by the European Union, the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE), seek to collaborate with the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to identify possible future partnerships through projects or activities specific on the Development of Organic Agriculture in the ASEAN Region. The ARISE team travelled to the Philippines to discuss possible projects to aid the ASEAN in its goal of ASEAN Economic Integration.