FPA: Fertilizers must pass tests

THE Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority said organic fertilizer produced by Pro Tech Machineries Corporation will have to pass their scrutiny before being used and sold in the market.

FPA executive director Dr. Norlito Gicana said he recently met with Pro Tech Machineries officials who sought advice on a separate license for the Baguio organic fertilizer produced from processing biodegradable wastes using the Environmental Recycling System in Irisan.

Gicana said while Pro Tech Machineries was granted a license for their fertilizer output in Malabon, fertilizers produced in Baguio will have to undergo laboratory analysis for its moisture content, presence of toxic substances such as lead, zinc and cadmium, among others.

He said the fertilizer produced by Pro Tech Machineries in their Malabon plant, which also processes biodegradable wastes, are of good quality but stressed it may be different for Baguio fertilizers.

The FPA official said the new application for license will have to be screened carefully considering the organic fertilizer produced by the Baguio plant comes from biodegradable garbage and not purely vegetable peelings and garden wastes.

FPA regional officer Balao Vicente said Pro Tech Machineries has not yet applied a license for its fertilizer produced in Baguio City.

This, despite earlier pronouncements by the firm and the City Government that permits have been readied and it has taken FPA a considerable amount of time to respond to requests following the agency’s reorganization into the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standard, still an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture.

Meantime, the local government earlier announced it has firmed-up a Memorandum of Agreement for the buy-back scheme for the fertilizer produced by the ERS.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, representing the City Government, and Pro Tech official Luis Arquiza Lu Jr. signed the agreement for Luis Lu, Jr. Holdings, Inc.

In the agreement, the city agrees to sell the organic fertilizer produced by the ERS to Lu's company at a pick-up price of P6 per kilogram less the cost of sacks or at a net price of P222 per 45-kilogram sack.

The City Government, however, needs secure the necessary permits to manufacture and sell the fertilizers from the appropriate government agency including the efficacy tests required.

The agreement added Lu will provide the sacks for the fertilizer when the city is able to present the manufacturing and distributor license number from the FPA.

The agreement also stipulates fertilizers produced must "conform to all the quality requirements of an organic fertilizer duly approved by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standard."

Upon the effectivity of the MOA, Lu will be given a 60-day payment term upon each withdrawal of the fertilizers.

The MOA, however, will have to be submitted to the City Council first for confirmation. In January, city officials agreed to pursue the fertilizer buy-back scheme which was among the additional obligations stipulated in the MOA between the city and Pro Tech for the purchase of the ERS machines signed on November 12, 2010.

A report from the city government Public Information Office showed ERS fertilizers stockpiled at the Irisan Central materials recovery facility reached more than 3,100 tons.

According to General Services Officer Romeo Concio, around 72 tons were used by the City Environment and Parks Management Office for the parks and given away to requesting schools and barangays.

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