FPA-FRD conducts refresher course for service improvement
Written by Mike P. Cuento and Mark Kevin Salita l Published: 21 January 2022
QUEZON CITY, January 20, 2022 – The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority-Fertilizer Regulations Division (FPA-FRD) central office gathered its regional field units (RFUs) to explore ways on improving regulatory policies and processes through an online refresher course and walk-through of the right processes guided by the mandate of the division.
The assembly was called to harmonize regulatory processes by the FRD reiterating correct implementation of procedures on the Issuance of Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) and License to Operate (LTO) for Fertilizer Handlers, Warehouse Registration, Experimental Use Permit (EUP), and Confirmatory Analysis, and other certificates. These regulatory documents ensure the Agency’s clientele and the agricultural sector of adequate supply at reasonable prices and rationalize the manufacture and marketing of fertilizer.
Discussions of different issues and concerns and the presentation of the approved memorandum for the schedule of audit on RFUs were also part of the agenda. FRD shall perform an audit to ensure that the field units’ delivery of services is compliant with P.D. 1144, its IRR, and ISO 9001:2015 Standards.
The participants also addressed issues on confirmatory analysis which validates and guarantees content claim of fertilizer by the applicants. In the discussion led by Ms. Sierlene Binobo of the FRD, confirmatory analysis is the first requirement for product registration. The evaluation of the laboratory test results is based on the certificate of analysis submitted by the applicant where the product specification is indicated. The conduct of laboratory analysis is performed by either the FPA-Laboratory Services Division or any of the FPA-Recognized Laboratories.
Dr. Mula pointed out the increasing demand for confirmatory analysis accommodated by only five FPA-Recognized Laboratories resulting in delays on the test results release. In response, the FPA will encourage more laboratories capable of fertilizer analysis to undergo the FPA laboratory recognition process and partner up in conducting needed tests.
The FRD was urged to standardize the monitoring form for the evaluation of bioefficacy trial to be used upon the approval of Experimental Use Permit. This will improve RFU’s checking routine during the conduct of bioefficacy trial which will be endorsed to the FPA-FRD as part of the requirement for product registration.
Further, considering to allow licensed institutional users to hire accredited researchers that are affiliated to them in conducting their bioefficacy trials is noteworthy because the institutional use of the product countering the risk of bias posed is prohibited in the current practice. Another major concern raised was the need for an official guideline on the certification of wastewater reuse for fertilization which will be provided by the FRD.
Dr. Mula called to improve the existing application forms for all the processes surrounding the fertilizer regulations as an initial step to enhance the effectiveness of the FPA guided with regulatory policies, he added.
On market monitoring concerns, a formulation of guideline on price tagging of fertilizers at the dealer’s stores was also raised. To ensure transparency with the consumers, the FPA - Field Operations Coordinating Unit (FOCU) will prepare the guideline in coordination with Atty. Pabalate. It will also reinforce monitoring of price and supply activities to protect the public from over-pricing amid the global price increases.
The division, while by the nature of its function is conducting a weekly price and supply monitoring, is now coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bantay Presyo Program as part of the One-DA Approach and call to protect the welfare of the consumers. Further, the FRD and FPA-RFUs will conduct public information campaigns using the official FPA and respective RFUs’ social media accounts and intensify the agency’s program to prevent the public from patronizing unregistered fertilizer products circulating in the market.
Observing current restrictions due to the pandemic, the meeting took place via Zoom in January 11-12, officiated by the FPA central office, and participated by Deputy Executive Director for Fertilizer Dr. Myer G. Mula, Atty. Janel Pabalate, Legal Counsel, FRD Chief Ms. Julieta B. Lansangan, Ms. Maribel M. Querijero, Mr. Marlo Deblois, Mr. Jesson E. Garcia, Ms. Jane Apostol, Ms. Sierlene Binobo, and Mr. Mike P. Cuento and Mr. Mark Kevin Salita. The RFUs were represented by the respective regional and provincial officers per region. ###
Julieta B. Lansangan, Chief, Fertilizer Regulations Division (FRD)
FPA-FRD and RFU Meeting, January 11-12, 2022