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SEARICE, in partnership with PAKISAMA, organized a national consultation workshop called “Seed Sovereignty Towards Food Security: A Discussion on the National Seed Law and the Plant Variety Protection Act of the Philippines” last 20 October 2023, at Brentwood Suites in Quezon City. The event was attended by 104 participants from the farming sector and civil society groups.


Session one of the workshop focused on the theme, “Securing Seeds for Sustainable Food Systems,” and included a discussion of the seed system in the Philippines led by SEARICE executive director Normita Ignacio; a review of the Seed Industry Development Act (SIDA),  or Republic Act 7308, by lawyer Mario Maderazo; a presentation of key Philippine laws relevant to the SIDA by lawyer Elpidio “Ping” Peria; and a sharing of farmer efforts and innovations on seed conservation and development by  Eddie Sasi of the Farmers’ Organization of Organic and Diversified Farming Systems (FOODS).

Session two covered the theme, “Protecting Farmers’ Rights to Seeds,” and included a discussion by lawyer Peria of the Intellectual Property Regime and other international agreements affecting the seed systems in the Philippines; a presentation by Ignacio of the Philippine Plant Variety Protection Act;  a discussion by Karen Lee Hizola, one of SEARICE’s Policy Advocacy Officers, of farmers’ rights to seeds as enshrined in the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP); and a discussion by lawyer Kim Claudio from the Commission on Human Rights of the Human Rights-based Approach to Policy Creation.

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