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It is an honor and privilege for us to present the 2020 Annual Report of CropLife Philippines, which chronicles the collective efforts of Crop since Industry as we are completing our planned programs through innovative interventions amid the surge of the Covid19 global pandemic in our country.

The CLP member companies were at the forefront of these accomplishments and milestones. The much-needed expertise, resources and organization nationwide of the Industry sustained the CLP’s task of helping the agriculture sector in strengthening partnerships with government, the private sector,  concerned individuals and civil society groups, particularly farmers’ organizations  and networks,  in these challenging times.

CLP has always shown optimism in all its endeavors, and we look forward to sustaining what have gained in the previous year by continuously improving our programs and services to uplift the lives of our farmers and help push for sustainable agriculture development.

We are aware that there are current and emerging concerns that the Industry needs to address as one, but we remain confident that these can be done in 2021.

Veronica T.  Tiburcio
President
CropLife Philippines
Edilberto de Luna
Executive Director
CropLife Philippines
An Executive Summary of CropLife Philippines’ Accomplishments and Milestones

The advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic nearly brought our country’s economy into standstill.
 
Still, the Philippine agriculture, agriculture sector managed to post a minimal positive growth. If there was one lesson learned from this crisis was the importance of food availability, affordability and security for the survival of a nation.
 
CropLife Philippines, as one of the leading institutions in the Crop Science Industry, pursued the challenge mitigating the impact of the pandemic through programs and advocacies
 
The Industry’s role during the health crisis became more and more prominent. It was within this context that the CLP-member companies continued to operate, providing appropriate science and evidenced based solutions to secure agricultural productivity and livelihood of the farmers, and food security in the urban and rural setting.
 
CLP managed to advance its policy and stewardship advocacies for the plant science industry, using mostly the digital online platform as the way of communicating–and implementing–programs and policies under a ‘new normal” environment.
 
The Industry also helped cushion the impact of the restriction of agricultural goods, including farm inputs and personnel, during the early imposition of the lockdown.
 
For its part, CLP coordinated and submitted request/position papers to relevant government agencies like the Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police and the Local Government Units. These contributed in the issuance of government policies on the unhampered movement of agricultural inputs and field technicians during the lock-down period.
 
CLP was also instrumental in pushing for the extension of validity of biosafety permits of GM products for cultivation and food/feed processing during the quarantine period.

After three years of concerted efforts of CLP together with other industry associations in tandem with the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority, the Revision to the Pesticides Implementing Rules and Regulation became finally effective on July 3, 2020.

The revisions covered:

  • Additional data protection.
  • Storage stability and shelf life.
  • Experimental use permit.
  • Mode of action on product labels.
  • Disposal of pesticide waste.
  • Drone regulation.
  • Plant incorporated protectants.

To manage COVID-19 impact on regulatory submission, CLP made representation with FPA to Accommodate submissions through emails. A transport arrangement was also facilitated by CropLife to deliver and retrieve documents to-and-from the evaluators based outside Metro Manila.
 
CLP, through its Technical and Regulatory Committee, actively participated in the discussions as members of the Technical Working Group on revisions in the Philippine National Standard for Maximum Residue Limits (MRL).
 
Last year, the MRL on Pesticides Residues on Milled Rice was finally issued by
The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards.
 
Meanwhile, while online transaction brought about a new era of ease and comfort, it was also used by unscrupulous individuals to sell unregistered crop protection products. To avert these malpractices, CLP closely coordinated with the FPA to monitor the operations of the Concerned sellers. In 2020, the FPA issued show cause order to the online sellers.
 
To sustain good working relationship with the regulators, CLP also held online meetings with Regulators to thresh out regulatory issues and compliance.

The advocacy for timely review and approval of biosafety (new and for renewal) applications for cultivation and direct use, the Industry was able to push the extension of validity of biosafety permits during the lockdown period.  Timelines for processing had also improved, compared to previous years.
 
CLP, in tandem with the Biotech Coalition of the Philippines (BCP) also contributed substantial inputs in the on-going review of the Joint DA-DENR-DOST-DOH-DILG Circular on the Regulations of Biotech Crops in the Philippines.
 
The Industry also reiterated its, CLP’s position is that that the product of New Breeding Techniques (NBT) should not be subjected to GM Regulations per se. An enabling policy is expected to be issued in 2021.

The advocacy on illegal seeds took a higher ground. This time, there were several avenues,
among them:


(a) Through biosafety permitting where CLP submitted its position paper and
Online dialogue with BPI as regards the exclusive rights of permittee in biosafety permits;

(b) through Plant Incorporated Protectant (PIP) registration with FPA to regulate Seeds with PIP under PD 1144;
 
(c) through a stronger seed law via amendment to the Seed Act where the House of Representatives has already conducted committee hearing, thereafter the three bills were to be consolidated by the Technical Working Group in Congress to come up with a substitute bill.

(d) Through active social media presence focused on the disadvantages of using illegal seeds.

Finally, CLP reached out to the legislature in the process of amendment of the organic agriculture act of 2010. The original bill contains provisions discriminatory against biotechnology. As a result thereof, these provisions were deleted in the final version of the bill which was already signed into law in December 2020.

Crop Life Philippines sustain its continuing initiative to develop groups of influencers to advance stewardship concerns on Responsible Use of Crop Protection Products, PPE and Waste Management.
 
Due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the activities were shifted online.
 
For starters, a webinar was held participated by 385 students and faculty members of 26 State and Private Universities and Colleges across the country. More than 200 also viewed the webinar live on Facebook.
 
To address concerns on the possible infestation of Fall Armyworm in rice, CLP partnered with DA and PHILRICE in proactive monitoring project, which now an ion-going in Cagayan and Isabela. It was an opportunity for CLP and the industry to emphasize that chemical intervention is a critical component of Integrated Pests Management.
 
With Soil erosion, as a  a major stewardship concern especially in the sloping areas planted to corn, three  additional sites are  being maintained by the Industry through the Crop Life Regional Action Network (CRAN) in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat as demonstration area.
 
On empty container management, CLP coordinated with residue laboratories that have the capability to analyze the rinsed empty containers as a prelude to reclassification of empty containers to non-hazardous substances to give way to recycling of at least 60% of pesticides containers in the Philippines.

As a consequence of the mandatory MoA labeling by FPA, CLP took the initiative of conducting series of three MoA and Resistance Management Webinars on Insecticide, Fungicides and Herbicides to build capacities of government field technicians, industry personnel, students, selected farmer leaders, pesticides distributors and faculty of private and public agricultural universities and colleges. 
 
Over a thousand individuals attended in this webinar. Through this platform, CLP communicated the importance of understanding MoA label and the rotation of MoA to prevent and or manage the occurrence of insecticide, herbicide or fungicide resistance.
 
As a support mechanism, the RAC team developed several training modules and digital training kits on MoA and Resistance Management for farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector. In coordination with the Communication Committee, these materials have become readily available at the CLP Website and Facebook page. Digital copies were sent to emails and messenger and viber chat groups within and outside the industry. These info materials are now widely used as reference on the subject by technicians of government agencies.

The Industry continues to push before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) predictable policies and timelines in household regulations.
 
In February 2020, during a CLP dialogue with Sen. Koko Pimentel the FDA committed to fast-track the process with the caveat that registrants must submit complete documents. After that dialogue, speed in the processing was achieved. To further achieve a common undertaking of GHS compliance, CLP sponsored a webinar on GHS Bridging Principles.
 
One notable gain of CLP’s advocacy with FDA is the decrease in quantity of Amount of Reference Standards from 1 gram to 250 milligrams, a request that FDA granted.

To respond on the issues and concerns of the industry, the CLP Communications and Advocacy Committee worked and made strides in the following priority areas:
  • Initiated advocacy interventions to counter the House bill pushing for a ban on Glyphosate, which was already referred to the House Committee on Ecology.
     
  • Spearheaded a media campaign on Control of Fall Armyworm showcasing the FPA registered crop protection and biotech solutions to fight the pest. A new Facebook series “A farmer Asks” was launched where the farmers asks questions on FAW to industry experts.
  • Promoted farmers’ testimonies through social media in support of the illegal seeds campaign, highlighting the disadvantages of using illegal and fake GM seeds. After boosting the materials, its followers are now close to 75,000 individuals.
     
  • Prepared and  promoted CLP online training Kits consisting of video, manuals and edited webinar recordings and other training materials on Mode of Action Labeling and Resistance Management. The digital distribution of these training materials in digital forms were also distributed in information poor agricultural areas.
Finally, the various CLP online platforms, have a combined reach of 250,000 people from targeted ads and campaigns.
Resources
Webinars          Videos          Manuals
CLP Website
CLP Facebook Page
CLP Youtube Channel
Copyright © 2021, CropLife Philippines, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Unit 5E Mapfre Bldg. Acacia Ave. Madrigal Business Park,
Ayala, Alabang, Muntinlupa City 1780, Philippines
Tel. (02) 772-3992 to 93

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