Innovation hub to aid food processors’ exports
August 23, 2016

THE Trade department said it wants to strengthen the processed-food sector, having recently launched an innovation hub meant to specifically address the sector’s strengths and weaknesses.

In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), said it had a soft launch for the Food Connection Innovation hub, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology’s Food Innovation Center, on Aug. 10.

“With the growing opportunities in the food sector and the anticipation of the huge market demand for innovative food products in the ASEAN Economic Community integration, we would like to provide areas of assistance for our entrepreneurs specifically those processed food MSMEs,” said PTTC Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab in a statement.

DTI said the hub, which it expects to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2017, will help food entrepreneurs meet the technical requirements of the export market, such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, among other qualifications, as well as providing consultancy services and testing equipment.

In 2014, the Philippine Statistics Agency reported that more than 127,000 micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are in the food and accommodation sector.

“These numbers are expected to grow as the Philippines prepares for the full integration of the ASEAN Economic Community,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the DTI’s Board of Investments (BoI) said in a separate statement that it is conducting orientation seminars for BoI-registered business entities (RBEs) on the implementing rules and regulations of RA 10708 or the Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA) which became effective early this month.

TIMTA, which puts in place a monitoring scheme for tax incentives, requires RBEs to submit a report detailing the total perks they availed of by Sept. 15, covering the taxable year 2015.

BoI said that seminars were conducted in Palawan and Cagayan de Oro on July 22 and Aug. 19, respectively, with more to follow until Sept. 9, in Makati, Cebu, and Davao.□

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