QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila – The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) is set to lead a team of officials from different concerned agencies in the development of a food safety regulation training program.
In preparation for this, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Food Safety Conference was held last August 25. Discussions focused on enhancing the knowledge and appreciation of the participants on their roles and responsibilities under the Food Safety Act.
Representatives from the Food Safety Regulatory Agencies, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Offices (DA RFOs), and ATI took part in the activity.
DA consultants Dr. Alicia Lustre, Dr. Minda Manantan, Dr. Evelyn Esquejo, and other officials talked about the implementing rules and regulations of the Act. Topics focusing on the basic principles of food safety and food-borne illnesses which are currently in the news were also discussed.
“We must educate if we are going to regulate,” Lustre stressed during her lecture. This is one of the key messages of the conference as the agencies contribute to what will be the content of the training program which the RFOs will cascade to their respective areas of responsibility.
Professors from the University of the Philippines Los Baños also presented their studies highlighting institutional capacity and readiness to effectively implement the Food Safety Act.
The conference served as the staging point in preparation for the Capacity Needs Enhancement Workshop on September 4-5. The two-day event will be the avenue for the development of a standardized DA training program towards food safety.