By PhilExport News and Features

18 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

 FILIPINO exporters of food and beverage products to the US are advised to make proactive efforts now to update their product labeling to ensure compliance with the new US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules and facilitate the entry of their goods.

Finalized in May 2016, the new US FDA rules comprising formatting changes, updates to serving sizes, daily sizes, daily values and nutrient definitions will be effective on January 1, 2020, for large food businesses. Small businesses will have an additional year to comply.

Large food firms are those grossing at least $10 million in annual sales.

“Food labeling consists of several components. The earlier you begin, the more time you allot for the unexpected and improve the chance of avoiding a surplus of outdated labeling inventory,” said Vijey Ananda, senior regulatory advisor South East Asia at Registrar Corp.

Ananda said the mandated updates to daily values for certain nutrients, such as dietary fiber, will require food manufacturers to readjust certain daily values on their labels. They also need to account for the daily values of vitamin D and potassium, which will be new “The product may need to be reformulated with more fiber or the claim will need to be removed from the product labeling by the deadline,” Ananda said.

Food manufacturers are urged to have a registered regulatory specialist review their redesigned food labels before printing in compliance with new FDA requirement. Registrar Corp helps businesses comply with US FDA regulations.

By Franclem Peña | Export Assistance and Business Matching Division (EABMD) | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

23 February 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

THERE is a growing prevalence on the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution systems internationally. ADR is an out-of-court cost-effective way of settling conflicts, offering lower costs or in some cases, free of cost, shorter period for dispute resolutions, and in most cases, preservation of relationships. It covers different processes, including arbitration, conciliation and mediation, among others.

The Philippines institutionalized the use of an alternative resolution system in the country through Republic Act 9285 or the “Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004” which was enacted on April 2, 2004.

However, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had already established its export trade complaints resolution process, through mediation, even before the enactment of this law.

As the DTI is matching both Philippine-based exporters and foreign buyers, it also promotes ethical business practices to further enhance the image of the country as a reliable supplier for goods and services in the global market. But like other business endeavors, conflicts may also arise from export trade transactions, which if remains unresolved, will seriously affect the image of the Philippines as a reliable source of goods and services. Hence, the need for a speedy resolution of export trade complaints through out-of-court settlement process, particularly mediation.

Since its creation in 1993, free mediation service is being continuously offered to both exporters and foreign buyers by the Export Trade Complaints Committee (ETCC), a one-of-a-kind public-private partnership that still exists and operates until now.

The ETCC is composed of the director of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (formerly the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion) or his alternate as its chairman, with the director of DTI Legal Service (formerly Office of Legal Affairs) and a representative from the private sector, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), the umbrella organization of Philippine exporters, as members. The DTI-EMB Export Assistance and Business Matching Division (EABMD) serves as the ETCC Secretariat, which is composed of trained Mediation Officers.

The ETCC is governed by a DTI department administrative order creating said committee and prescribing the guidelines in the dispute resolution process. The DAO had undergone several revisions to address the recent developments in international trade and to further strengthen the DTI’s effectiveness in resolving export trade complaints.                

The process of revising the current DAO started in 2018, whereby a public consultation was conducted in order to engage the export industry stakeholders in crafting an effective and efficient trade dispute resolution mechanism. The revised DAO will be published and implemented this year.

The new DAO will only apply to disputes relating to export trade transactions involving exportable goods and services from the Philippines, including but not limited to (1) nonpayment of delivery; (2) nondelivery of paid order; (3) canceled letter of credit order; (4) short shipment; (5) noncompliance to quality specification; (6) unjustified nonperformance of contractual obligations.

All export trade complaints must be in writing and signed by the complainant, and may be in electronic document form. The complaint may be filed personally, by mail, or by electronic means. Copies of pertinent documents supporting the complaint must be attached to the complaint. Complaints may be filed with the DTI-EMB any DTI Office, DTI attached agencies, or the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC) abroad.

ETCC findings are classified into: (1) Dismissed—if there is failure to substantiate the allegations of the complaint or lack of basis to hold respondent liable for the complaint; (2) Settled—if an amicable settlement between the parties was reached through the intervention of the ETCC; (3) Watch listing—notwithstanding the outcome of the mediation proceeding, watch listing may be effected based on the following grounds: (a) The respondent used a fictitious name or address; (b) The respondent is involved in two (2) or more export trade complaints; or (c) There is a substantial finding, based on past and present complaints, that the acts complained of would seriously affect the image of the Philippines as a reliable supplier of goods or services.

Copies of the DTI DAO on ETCC and the DTI Watchlist of Exporters and Foreign Buyers are available at and

The ETCC and its secretariat may be contacted through e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or office landline (+632) 465-3300 local 109 or 110.

Their office address is DTI Export Marketing Bureau, Ground Floor, DTI International Building, 375 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Philippines 1200.

By Antonie Lyka C. Manaloto | Services Division (SD) | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

09 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) in collaboration with the Embassy of France in Manila, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) organized Animation du Monde in Manila from February 18 to 22, 2019, at the Alliance Francaise de Manille in Makati City.

Animation Du Monde is an initiative set up by Annecy and International Market of Animation Film (MIFA) to provide opportunities for young talents to acquire funding, coproduction deals, project collaborations, and to equip animators with the best practices and trends in animation. The event provided interested animators of all levels with a series of lectures, workshops, one-on-one sessions and film viewing of animated films from all over the world.

A session focused on international marketing for animation was hosted by DTI-EMB on February 20, 2019. The session began with a film viewing of Paglisan by Carl Joseph Papa, an animated musical about the struggles of a man diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the pain it brings to his family. The animated film was featured in the 14th Cinema One Originals Festival. The film was created in just four months with an initial budget of P3.5 million. The creators said they intentionally stayed true to the director’s vision of presenting an animated film that looks very Pinoy. The visuals were also purposely created to match the stages of emotions throughout the film.

EMB Assistant Director Anthony B. Rivera gave a message and welcomed the 90 participants of Animation du Monde. He said the cultural and creative industries are major drivers of the economies of both the developed and developing countries, contributing $2.25 trillion in revenues and employing 29.5 million people in 2013, and influencing income generation, job creation and export earnings. He said that in the Philippines, animation has evolved from being an outsourcing industry to a creator of original Filipino content. He added there is a need to add additional skills to the Filipino’s creative industry work force and expand creative industries and service work beyond Manila.

Géraldine Baché, head of Projects Mifa, Citia–France, talked about the Annecy and Mifa: The Reference in Animation. She said Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 in the town of Annecy, France, and is the biggest in the world with 12,000 participants from 90 countries and receiving 3,080 submissions, but with only 200 films on the official selection. The  Mifa was created in 1985, an event of the animation industry for co-production, purchase, sale, financing and distributing content across all media channels. 

Louie Andrew Calvario,  lawyer from Ipophil, discussed copyright law in the Philippines, which is important to audiovisual works. He discussed the concept of the copyright, automatic protection, copyright deposit, idea-expression dichotomy, and gave examples on how artists could protect their intellectual property and works.  

A source of the country’s pride in the animation industry today is the success of Barangay 143#LigaNgBuhay, the first Filipino anime television series aired on GMA7. Geraldine Yumul, Business Manager of Synergy88, the creator of Barangay 143, said the project started global before it went local. The anime series was created by 200 animators with Toon Boom experience sourced from around the country and the sounds and specialized animatics were made by international partners. One series of Barangay 143 took more than three years to finish with 26 episodes. Yumul said Barangay 143 is a testament that it is possible for Filipino creators and animators to produce something “we can be really proud of.” She encouraged and empowered all the young talents who attended the session to continue creating and dreaming.

“Filipinos are acknowledged worldwide as good animators, and not only on specific content,” Yumul said.

French expert and producer Ron Dyens presented the producer’s insight for short and feature animated film. Dyens founded Sacrebleu Productions, a film production company. About 50 short films have been produced since then and have been selected in more than 1,000 national and international festivals. He discussed how co-production with other countries works and the system of feature-film production in France. During his presentation, Dyens also showed the audience few short animated films, which got funding from producers to give the audience an idea on marketable content. 

11 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

SIXTEEN local companies showcased the best of Philippine food products in the 44th edition of International Food and Beverage Exhibition, popularly known as Foodex Japan. The event was held from March 5 to 8, 2019, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.

Led by the Department of Trade and Industry-Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), the Philippine delegation showcased the country’s premier fruit selections and tropical products, as well as its processed derivatives and by-products.

“Japan is one of our leading importers of Philippine fruits and other tropical products. We brought 16 Philippine companies to showcase these finest selections in Japan’s biggest food show,” DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said.

In 2018 Japan was the Philippines’s largest export destination for fresh food and the second-largest market for processed food next to the United States.

The tropical fruits  showcased in Japan included banana, coconut, durian, papaya, pineapple and mango. The Philippine delegation also highlighted organic food, cakes and confectionary, tuna, shrimp and crabs, as well as powdered juice drinks of other herbs.

Joining the delegation were Agrinurture Inc., Amley Food Corp., Avante Agri-Products Philippines Inc., Celebes Coconut Corp., Century Pacific Food Inc., Citra Mina Canning Corp., CJ Uniworld Corp., Coconut Cures Inc.,/Mindanao Pacific Coconut Coop, Grand Asia Integrated Natural Coco Products Corp., GSL Premium Food Export Corp., Leonie Agri Corp., Phil-Union Frozen Foods Inc., Prime Fruits International Inc., Profood International Corp., Seabest Food and Beverage Corp, and See’s International Food Mfg. Corp.

“With these 16 big companies, Citem is confident this country participation would deliver our sales target and maintain the Philippines’s strong market presence in Japan,” Suaco-Juan said.

In 2018, 18 local firms under the FoodPhilippines pavilion bagged $17.1 million worth of export orders. For this year’s participation, Citem sought to exceed last year’s sales and generate at least $17.9-million export sales.

Foodex Japan is known as a major gateway to the Japanese market. Last year, the four-day event welcomed over 3,000 local and international exhibitors, as well as more than 82,000 buyers from the food manufacturing, service, distribution and trading sectors across the global food industry.

DTI-Citem’s participation in Foodex Japan 2019 under the FoodPhilippines country brand for the sector was organized in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Tokyo as one of the DTI’s major efforts to intensify the promotion of Philippine specialty food products in overseas trade shows.

Citem is committed to developing, nurturing and promoting globally competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by implementing an integrated approach to export marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

By Myrtle Faye L. Solina | Food and Agri-Marine Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

04 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Undersecretary of Trade Promotions Group Abdulgani M. Macatoman of the Department of Trade and Industry during one of the store checks in Dubai.


THE Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led 18 Philippine exporters to an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) from February 6 to 19, 2019, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

The  OBMM was headed by DTI Undersecretary of Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Abdulgani M. Macatoman.

The OBMM was conducted in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Middle East and Africa Commercial Attaché Charmaine Mignon S. Yalong, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Foreign Agriculture Service Corps in the Middle East through Agriculture Attaché Gil B. Herico.

This OBMM was conducted in line with the Philippine Export and Development Plan (PEDP) and supports the thrust of Republic Act (RA) 10817, otherwise known as the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion (PHEDP) Act to increase the export value and volume of Philippine products and services in the Middle East markets through a deliberate marketing and promotions campaign.

The trade mission activities included business matching, seminar on compliance on market access regulations and requirements, briefing from relevant authorities, such as the Chambers and Dubai Municipality, store checks with major distributors and retailers of Filipino and mainstream brands, such as Bin Dawood Group, Lulu Hypermarket, and Al Maya Group, company visits, networking activities, and visit to Gulfood 2019.

In addition, an information session with the overseas Filipinos on doing business and basics of exporting together with mentoring from the OBMM participants were held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dubai legs of the mission.

Macatoman reiterated during the mission the need for more Philippine brands to enter the Middle East markets to cater the demand of Filipinos living there and to a larger extent, to penetrate the mainstream market.

The Division Chief of the Food and Agri-Marine Division (FAMD), Rose Marie G. Castillo, emphasized the potential of the hotel, restaurant and café (Horeca) industry.

The Philippines is seen to be well-positioned to cater to the opportunity brought about by Horeca,  especially with the PHEDP in place.

The 18 exporting companies that participated in the OBMM came from the food and beverage sector and personal care. They included Axiom Natur Trading Corp., C and H Cosmetics, SAGANA, DOXO Trading, Frontrow International Enterprises, Fruits of Life, HDR Foods Corp. (Mother’s Best), La Carlota Food Products, Market Reach International Resources, Mindanao Pearl Center, Natural Quality Corp., Oleo-Fats Inc., Pasciolco Agriventures, Pixcel Transglobal Food Inc., Radin Food Products, Trans-Ocean Food Products Inc., Lanao Cargo and Logistic Services and LBC.

DTI-Region 5 also showcased pili nuts during the UAE leg of the mission by bringing nine companies composed of Antes Enterprises, Aycocho’s Food Products, Berton Pilinut Candy & Pastries, JC Pili Center, J. Emmanuel Pastries, Leslie’s Pili Center, Mayon Perfection Confectionery, Ticao Masbate Products and The RAINS Delicacies.

In total, 123 importing companies were met by Filipino exporters and the OBMM’s sales target was exceeded during the mission.

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