Kalinga wins PGSP awards
by Gigi Dumallig
TABUK, Kalinga (2 October) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) awarded three entities here for effectively implementing programs under the Philippine Grains Standardization Program (PGSP) during the 34th NFA Anniversary held at Santiago, Isabela.
Linda Cruz, Registration and Licensing Officer of NFA Kalinga said their office received the award for the 'Best PSGP Showcase' because of its consistent support and implementation of the rules and guidelines under the program, which is vital in the development and strengthening of the grain industry and food security of the nation.
The provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI Kalinga), on the other hand, received the 'Outstanding National Line Agency' special award for its advocacy on Consumerism in Schools, an annual Consumer Net activity where lectures on PGSP and Food Fortification are conducted. DTI-Kalinga received same award in 2001 and 2002.
It is also the most active PGSP cooperator in the implementation of the provisions of PGSP. The office, in cooperation with LGU Tabuk and NFA, have been conducting regular 'Operation Timbangan' not only to the grains business but they have also included monitoring other market retailers.
Victor Benganio of DTI-Kalinga said their office conducted strict inspection and calibration of weighing scales at private buying stations and imposed the Weights and Measure Law, which aims to promote fair business practices. This is part of government's move in eradicating the conventional ganta system among rice and other grains traders, Benganio explained.
Meanwhile, Barangay Bulanao brought home the 'Outstanding LGU' award because of its r persistent implementation of the PGSP. Cruz said that even without the assistance of NFA, the barangay in coordination with the local police, has been actively and regularly conducting monitoring in their public market especially in the use of metric system.
Aside from that, Cruz said that the Bulanao Public Market is the only established market in the province that has a rice section that met the National Grains Standard (NGS) specifications.
"Barangay Bulanao is the only barangay given this especial award in entire Region 2 and the Cordilleras," she said, adding that this should serve as a challenge for other established public market here to emulate.
Cruz pointed out that established public markets are required to have a rice section with facilities passing the specifications prescribed by the NGS from packaging, labeling including test and analysis of grain commodities to ensure efficiency and fair trade.
The PGSP, she said, is geared towards the effective implementation and institutionalization of the NGS through the continuous advocacy, enforcement and activity monitoring among grain farmers, millers, traders, retailers and the general public.
Grains standardization is one of the strategies of the government to modernize the agriculture sector to improve its efficiency to meet global competitiveness in the grains industry. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]