Some 30 farmer-members from various proponent groups (PGs) of ongoing enterprise sub-projects in Benguet and Mt. Province implemented under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) participated in the Basic Food Safety Training and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) held last March 26-28, 2019 at City Travel Hotel, Baguio City.
The PRDP, through its Social and Environmental Safeguards (SES) unit, conducted the training in coordination with the Cordillera office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Jamie Beth Galian of the DOST said all employees directly engaged in manufacturing activities shall be trained in the particular operations they perform in accordance to the principles of GMP.
“One of the objectives of GMP is to comply with the provisions of the Food Safety Act of 2013 (RA 10611) which strengthens the food safety regulatory system in the country to protect consumers in terms of health, and facilitate market access of local foods and food products,” she said.
Almost half of the approved and ongoing enterprise sub-projects funded and implemented under the PRDP in the region are on food production. As recommended by the World Bank during the previous implementation support mission, capability trainings for PGs should be continuously conducted for them to be trained on food safety, and proper waste management among others.
Galian further discussed the GMP guidelines and policies in relation to the premises of the production area, plant construction and design, equipment, sanitation, process control, chemical control, quality management, testing of reprocessed product, testing of returned good, laboratory facilities and control, documentation, quality audits, warehouse and distribution, receiving and shipping, recall and traceability, retention of sample, and subcontracting of manufacture.
The participants were also oriented on the Food Safety Act of 2013, responsibilities of food business operators, food safety hazards, and the licensing requirements for food establishment.
As part of the training, the participants visited the processing center of the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agro-Forestry of Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet where participants observe and took note of the good manufacturing practices applied at the processing center.
At the end of the training session, Mary Jane Tumapang from the Mt. Province Provincial Agriculturist Office commended the participants for completing the training and expressed her gratitude to the PRDP for coordinating with DOST to conduct such trainings.
“We are very grateful for the conduct of this training as it is very relevant in the operations of the enterprise sub-projects of these farmer associations and cooperatives,” she said.
By RIGI MAY COPATAN & ELVY TAQUIO