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Bohol Guv orders fast recall, disposal of GMO corn

CORTES, Bohol, August 30 (PIA) -- Governor Erico Aristotle Aumentado has issued an Executive Order recalling all distributed Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) corn in Bohol consistent with the provincial ordinance prohibiting the use and planting of GMO here.

The order also ordered the reactivation of the GMO Monitoring Committee.

Through Executive Order No. 30, series of 2023, the governor has reiterated the provincial development policy on natural and sustainable agriculture and in preserving the integrity of the local biosystem and ecology for posterity.

Acting on reports on distribution, planting, and field testing of GMO corn and based on reports  from the Department of Agriculture during the El Nino Task Force meeting held May 12, the governor, through his executive order, cited Section 3 of Provincial Ordinance No 2003-10.

That specific section states that no person shall conduct any laboratory or field testing or any activity, whatsoever, for the propagation of or experimentation related to GMOS on any plant, animal or micro-organism in any area within the territorial jurisdiction of Bohol. 

Section 4 of the same ordinance ruled that any violation would be meted out with a fine of not more than P5,000 or imprisonment of not over one year or both, at the discretion of the court.

It also states that juridical entitles found in violation of the ordinance could be subject to closure.

Immediately after the El Nino Task Force Meeting in May, the governor through his executive assistant on agriculture, convened to investigate the extent of the violation and discussed actions to further protect the welfare of Boholanos exposed to the potential threat. 

Following the confirmation of the violation, the governor called for the immediate cessation of GMO distribution by all agencies and private individuals or entities, distribution channels and stakeholders involved in the sale, transfer or distribution of GMO corn in Bohol.

Aumentado also ordered the immediate and comprehensive retrieval and disposal of GMO corn in Bohol to ensure their disposal.

The governor tasked the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, along with the Multi-Sectoral GMO Monitoring Committee, to carry out the reactivation of the GMO Monitoring Committee, which will monitor the progress of the retrieval and disposal, as well as take all the necessary legal action to safeguard the interest of the people and maintain the ecological balance of the province.

In May this year, Botong, Marawis, Maubo, Omjon Corn-growers Association (BOMMOCA) passed Resolution No. 1, series of 2023, requesting the governor and the provincial legislators for an amendment of the ordinance banning the planting of GMO corn.

“Kon mahimo, wala na unta ang maong balaod aron mapasayon ang pag-uma sa mais, ilabi na sa pagkakaron nga mahal na ang suholan sa pagpahinlo ug pagpatrabaho sa maisan (If possible, take out the ordinance to facilitate corn farming, especially now that the costs of land preparation for corn farms are expensive),” stated the resolution signed by BOMMOCA Secretary Vilma Deloso and attested by Teresita Gamale, BOMMOCA president. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

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Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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