Hinatuan is a place to visit if you want to see to the Enchanted River, a renowned natural wonder in the Philippines. It is also the site of the 8-storey Doppler Radar of PAG-ASA. But this progressive municipality in Surigao Del Sur is creating another milestone with the establishment of its Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) through the tripartite partnership of the local government unit, civil society organizations and organic farmers.
The creation of PGS Hinatuan, a first to be established in the whole province is a result of the organizing efforts of SPARCDEV, a provincial NGO working on organic agriculture in partnership with Agro-Eco Philippines, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, IPDI, DKA Austria, and the local government units.
Last year, SPARCDEV, Agro-Eco Philippines and LGU Hinatuan have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement mainstreaming organic agriculture in line with right to food and climate change adaptation. Surigao Del Sur is at the hotspot of climate change and extreme weather events being the entry point of typhoons in Mindanao.
“The launching that we did today (June 30, 2017) has formalized the organizational structure, system of operations and development goals of PGS Hinatuan,” said Mr. Artemio “Dodz” Llesis, Executive Director of SPARCDEV who is also elected as the Chairperson of this body. Farmer’s groups and government officials from the provincial and municipal level have attended in the launching and showed their full support to PGS stating that third party certification is counterproductive and anti-small farmers.
“With this significant development, we’re very optimistic that the organic agriculture program in Surigao Del Sur can take a big leap in the months to come because it is now providing more opportunities to the small farmers and affordable organic products to the consuming public,” shared by Atty. Candelario Viola, Vice-Mayor of Hinatuan and Mr. Esmeraldo Odtohan, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist of Surigao Del Sur.