Baguio councilor wants exclusive market for organic produce

BAGUIO CITY – With the high demand for organic food and more Filipinos becoming health conscious, a city councilor here is pushing to provide a separate market where organic food items can be sold to growing supporters.

Councilor Michael Lawana filed this week a resolution proposing the setting-up of a market day for organically-grown agricultural products at the Igorot Park from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. The proposal is calendared to be discussed by the City Council in its session on October 25.

This is aside from the few stalls at the city market and some designated private establishments selling organic products daily.

Lawana said consumers have limited access to the products due to the very few outlets in private establishments. There are only two stalls selling organic products — one at the tourist market and another at the Hangar market, despite an abundant supply produced by different organic vegetable farms and backyard producers in the city and neighboring towns.

Organic products, the resolution said, are those that are chemical and pesticide-free; promotes biotechnology in agriculture; and have organic integrity, which have been known to be essential to good physical, mental and emotional health.

For a producer to be allowed to sell at the organic market, the products should be properly packaged labeled with the name, logo and the seal of the certifying body and an accreditation number issued by the Department of Agriculture Cordillera (DA-CAR), the proposal said. The seller must also obtain a business permit from the city government.

Republic Act 10068 known as the Organic Agricultural Act of 2010 provides for the development and promotion of organic agriculture in the Philippines. It prescribes that designated separate area be allocated separate from the non-organic products.