The National Research Council of the Philippines in cooperation with the International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences, Philippine Chapter (ISSAAS) and the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) sponsored a seminar-conference in the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) Vigan, Ilocos Sur with the theme: “Cleaner and Safer Products from the Countryside through Organic Agriculture” last Oct. 5, 2007.

The conference was part of the Outreach Program of NRCP which aims to establish the “NRCP Presence in the Regions” and the ISSAAS outreach activities which aim to reach out and recruit new members and organize regional chapters in the regions. This is the second of a series of seminars undertaken together by NRCP and ISSAAS Philippines. The first was in Benguet where a seminar-conference was held and a regional chapter was organized under the leadership of Dr. Rogelio C. Colting, the President of the Benguet State University (BSU).

The NRCP group was led by no less than Dr. Napoleon P. Hernandez, the OIC Acting Director of NRCP and Dr. Priscilla C. Sanchez, the chair of the Biological Sciences Division of NRCP while ISSAAS was led by Dr. Roberto F. Rañola, Jr., the Vice-President for the Philippine Chapter of ISSAAS and joined by other officers.

The major topics were introduced by Dr.Priscilla Sanchez who explained what the seminar was all about. This was followed by a talk by Dr. Gina V. Pangga who gave an “overview of Organic Farming” and Dr. Damasa M. Macandog who discussed the “Indigenous Organic and sustainable farming Strategies in the Cordilleras”. The topic on “House Bills and Current Policies on Organic Farming and Agriculture” was presented by Ms. Fe M. Rañola while Dr. Roberto Rañola, Jr. discussed the “Marketing and Economics of Organic Products”. The topic on “Certification of Organic Farming” was presented by Ms. Lani K. Limpin from the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines. Lastly, the “BSU Internal Guarantee System’ was discussed by no less than the President of BSU, Dr. Colting. Except for Dr. Colting and Ms. Limpin, all the other speakers are also faculty and research staff of UPLB.

Given the success of the first two outreach seminars, there is a plan to replicate these activities in other regions of the country.

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International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS)
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