ZOOM Platform – The Ministry of Science and Technology conducted three-hour food packaging and labeling training on November 10, 2021.
Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) staff and other MOST employees attended the said training.
The activity aimed to capacitate the PSTC staff on the appropriate packaging and labeling they would recommend to the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program (TTCP) recipients, specifically the beneficiaries of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises – Upgrading Program (MSMEs-Up).
Nasrodin Buisan, MOST’s Bangsamoro Director-General, trained the provincial directors and other staff on the said training as resource person.
He shared the appropriate packaging for certain products of food manufacturers. The latter must adhere to the requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration to have good, safe, and marketable food products.
“Wag mag-assume, dapat may label,” Buisan said.
He emphasized that the MSMEs product must have accurate label information such as nutritional facts that the consumer won’t assume about the nutritional value, ingredients, and other information.
“A label for food products is a legal requirement in every supplied product in the market,” Buisan emphasized.
He also added that in the labeling of food products, where MOST assists in packaging and labeling, food manufacturers assisted by the ministry are not allowed to use the MOST logo if the product is not compliant with the legal requirements set by the ministry.
As part of the technical assistance given by MOST to MSMEs beneficiaries, the Bangsamoro Halal Standards and Testing Laboratories (BHSTL) provides testing analysis for MSMEs food products, specifically on nutritional value content of their products as well as food safety and halal compliance. Bangsamoro Laboratory Services work hand in hand to assist MSMEs produced safe and nutritious food products that also adhere to FDA requirements as part of acquiring the license to operate.
Buisan also required the PSTC staff to inform food manufacturers on the ground regarding submitting sample products for analysis and testing of products.
“We are requiring our MSMEs to submit the actual sizes of their finished products for the BHSTL to set also the appropriate nutritional content of their products,” Buisan added.
Good food packaging is essential to avoid spills/waste, facilitate use, protect from damage, spoilage, and tampering, and communicate products’ attributes. Furthermore, food labeling is crucial to provide consumers with information on the product, such as the ingredients, nutrients, and other information in the food products.
An Administrative Order No. 2014-0030 was promulgated to administer the revised labeling guidelines of prepackaged food products distributed in the Philippines to protect the consumer against hazards to health and safety and provide information and education to facilitate sound choice in the proper exercise of their rights. It is also to establish provisions on the exemption to the requirements of labeling prepackaged food products, which are, following the practice of the trade, to be processed, labeled, or repacked in substantial quantities at establishments other than those where processed initially or packed.
Moreover, packaging and labeling are technical assistance given by MOST to identified MSMEs beneficiaries helping them improve and upgrade their produced products. For the purpose that their products sold in the market would be saleable and adhere to the legal requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).