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DOST capacitates 30 MSMEs on food safety

MALAYBALAY CITY (PIA)--The Department of Science and Technology recently capacitated 30 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Bukidnon through Food Safety Training in Malaybalay City. The training aims to equip MSMEs with insights on various areas covered by current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), including food safety regulatory requirements during production. Participants were encouraged to embrace safe working practices throughout the manufacturing process. The training gathered 57 participants from Bukidnon municipalities such as Talakag, Baungon, Don Carlos, Kitaotao, Damulog, Lantapan, Manolo Fortich, Valencia City, and Malaybalay City. The participants operate in the food processing industry, which makes the training a must as it addresses critical aspects like food safety, quality control, regulatory compliance, consumer confidence, and employee empowerment. Resource person Lesli N. Uy emphasized the significance of being aware of cGMP principles and stressed that implementing these practices would ensure the safety and quality of products. “At the end of this training, if you follow and implement cGMP in your operation, you will gain confidence in the products you create,” she said. At the event, Assistant Regional Director Virgilio M. Fuertes also highlighted the importance of obtaining FDA certification for food manufacturers, to which the cGMP training was the first step. Fuertes assured MSMEs of DOST's full support in their journey toward obtaining the certification. “DOST is committed to empowering MSMEs by providing assistance to obtain FDA License to Operate and Certificate of Product Registration, enabling them to confidently immerse in the Philippine market," he said. Participants also expressed their sentiments towards the end of the program. “Salamat kaayo sa DOST. This is my first time to join this training, although we are just starting our business pero mapasalamaton ko kay daghan ko ug natun-an. I hope DOST will continue this kind of service,” Romy P. Tiongco, a participant from Malaybalay City, said. Through the consultancy program of DOST, food processors aim to acquire their License to Operate from the Food and Drug Administration. Earlier this year, DOST was able to assist five firms from Bukidnon to acquire LTO certification and Certificate of Product Registration. These certified MSMEs are now equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure the production of safe and high-quality food products. The success stories of MSMEs have inspired more businesses in Bukidnon to pursue the FDA License to Operate. With the fast and efficient customer service provided by FDA through its online Portal, the application process has become more accessible and achievable for aspiring MSMEs. With the guidance and assistance of the DOST, Bukidnon's MSMEs are steadily progressing towards compliance with regulatory standards. Science, Technology, and Innovation play a crucial role in enabling MSMEs to pursue their goal of conquering the Philippine market. In addition to FDA-related assistance, DOST also provides technical services to MSMEs to enhance their productivity and improve their process through different programs such as Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program (MPEX), Trademark Registration, Packaging and Labeling, and Halal Consultancy services. (Goldy H. Cordero/DOST 10)


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