To bolster food safety among small businesses in the food sector, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – MIMAROPA organized a virtual Food Safety Management System seminar from 18-19 August 2021. 

Food Safety Management System poster

The virtual seminar aims to refresh and update micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the latest trends in safe food handling and create awareness on Food Safety Management to MSMEs engaged in food preparation and processing. 

Facilitating the seminar is Engr. Menandro B. Ortego licensed chemical engineer and managing director/consultant of Conformance Training and Consultancy Services. Engr. Ortego, who holds 25 years of qualified training experience on food safety, quality, and productivity, provided a comprehensive discussion on food safety and food trade, food hazards and their prevention and control strategies, food preservation technologies, Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS), and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). 

Around 81 participants attended the two-day virtual seminar. Taking part in the activity are MSMEs coming from the different provinces in the MIMAROPA region and other parts of the country.

The activity was made possible through the One Town One Program (OTOP) of DTI-MIMAROPA which aims to ensure that MSMEs in the food sector are aware and comply with statutory food safety regulations.

DTI-MIMAROPA Regional Director (RD) Joel B. Valera urged the participating MSMEs to comply with the statutory regulations to ensure that they keep up with varying consumer demands and adhere to industry regulations, packaging requirements, and food safety standards. Additionally, RD Valera emphasized that the agency has allotted funds to shoulder the MSMEs’ costs on documentary requirements that are in line with the recognized standards of Codex Alimentarius.

According to the Food Safety Act, a strengthened food safety regulatory system in the Philippines shall protect consumer health and facilitate market access to local food and food products. Its objective is to protect the public from food-borne and water-borne illnesses and unsanitary, unwholesome, misbranded, or adulterated foods; enhance industry and consumer confidence in the food regulatory system, and achieve economic growth and development by promoting fair trade practices and a sound regulatory foundation for domestic and international trade.

Finally, DTI MIMAROPA Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Rodolfo J. Mariposque has underlined that food safety seminars, such as this, serve as a big first step in maintaining food, health, and economic security, especially among the rural communities. ARD Mariposque also invited the participants to join DTI MIMAROPA’s other activities related to food safety and business development. 

Date of Release: 24 August 2021