Beekeepers want DA order revoked
(The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Beekeepers are seeking the revocation of an administrative issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) placing apiculture under the control of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) which it believes is not a fit to regulate the sector.

The Beekeepers Network Foundation Philippines Inc. (Beenet Philippines) has met with agriculture officials to discuss its call for the revocation of DA Administrative Order 14 which was issued on March 29, 2012.

The organization is composed of bee researchers, extension specialists and beekeepers.

The DA-AO states that during an advisory board meeting held on Sept. 2, 2011, a resolution was passed for the inclusion of apiculture as one of the sectors for development by the DA.

Citing a provision of the Terrestrial Code of the World organization for Animal Heath (OIE) that states that apiculture operation and regulation requires the issuance of veterinary certificate, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala issued an order placing regulation of apiculture under the control of the BAI.

Under the order, BAI was mandated to “promote the development of apiculture in coordination with NARTDI (National Apiculture Research, Training and Development Institute) and other beekeepers and stakeholders.

BAI was also tasked to support the development of the Apiculture Roadmap and integrate its annual work and financial plan under the National Livestock Program, as well as formulate appropriate controls and quarantine measures based on international standards.

Before the issuance of the administrative order, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) handled the quarantine of imported bees in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

“We have been beekepers for a long time and have existed even without government help. Although we appreciate the fact that Secretary Alcala realizes the importance of bees to agriculture, more so, the allocation of funds for bees, we can’t help but wonder that now there is funding, why is there a need to change and alter the way things have been run,” said Joel Magsaysay, founding president of Beenet Philippines.

Magsaysay also said that NARTDI, which was established under the Don Mariano Memorial State University in La Union in 2000, has not fulfilled its mandate.

“NARTDI has not lived up to its mandate since its inception and they failed to produce quality queen bees which is their umber one mandate and has been for the last 10 years. The failure of NARTDI forces the beekeepers to import on their own, causing income losses,” said Magsaysay.

He added that apiculture regulation should be placed under the BPI because bees are potential carriers of plant diseases.

Beekeeping in the country comprises some 600 small and large players. Harvested from bees are beeswax, honey and royal jelly.

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA ANIMAL HEATH APICULTURE APICULTURE ROADMAP BEEKEEPERS NETWORK FOUNDATION PHILIPPINES INC BEENET PHILIPPINES BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
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