In the light of pursuing strategic interventions toward increasing the competitiveness of the priority industries in the region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Region 02 collaborated with the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) through the latter’s Food Connect Program, to facilitate compliance of MSMEs to standard regulatory requirements which is key in their bid to penetrate larger markets.

MSME-beneficiaries under this program were selected from and among the players of the region’s priority industries specifically Cacao, Coffee, Processed Fruits and Nuts and Processed Meat and Fish.

The program is composed of three components, one of which is the Awareness Seminar cum Writeshop on the Philippine FDA - License to Operate (FDA-LTO) documentary requirements, which was conducted on October 14-15, 2018 at the DTI-02 Negosyo Center Conference Hall. The activity was highlighted by interactive discussions relating to food safety protocols and important considerations for FDA-LTO applications. The topics included FDA-LTO application process, food hazards, levels of food processing, food preservation, quality controls and food labelling standards both in the international and national levels.

Engr. Menandro Ortego, Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist of PTTC, who was tapped as resource person, discussed the importance of having a certification from the Food and Drug Administration. He emphasized the need to ensure that food satisfies the requirements of food safety in the food supply chain and that control systems are in place to prevent risks to consumers.

Several workshops were also done during this 2-day activity, which included the description of manufacturing process, quality and safety procedures, results of analysis, GMP Organization and lay out.

“While we remain committed in providing customized interventions for our MSMEs, we should all strive to position Region 02 as a supplier of safe and reliable food products that will nourish your businesses and capture the senses of the consumers,” said OIC-RD Ruben Diciano of DTI-R02.

The succeeding components of the program will be implemented on November 6-8 and 14-15, 2018.