EXPORTERS of processed food, cosmetics, and health products are likely to experience a shorter waiting time to get their license to operate and certificate of product registration from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“There is now a formal recommendation to establish a tie-up between FDA and Negosyo Centers to fast-track the processing of the two required documents,” said Senen Perlada, executive director of the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), an agency of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
During workshops on the Philippine Export Development Plan 2015-2017 in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cebu, and Davao, a common issue raised by exporters was the time it took for their operating permits and product registration to be released.
In response, the FDA, EMB, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport), and Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc. got together and agreed to push for an FDA presence in Negosyo Centers to facilitate the processing of licenses and product registrations.
Their recommendation were contained in a proposal letter by Perlada, dated July 29, and sent to Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya.
Negosyo Centers are essentially one-stop shops where micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) may secure the requirements without the need to shuttle from one office to another.
Republic Act (RA) 10644, or the Go Negosyo Law, mandates a Negosyo Center in all provinces, cities, and municipalities, to be supervised by the DTI and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council.
Perlada also proposed that PhilExport and the Export Development Council to help the FDA in cascading to the public its new policies and guidelines through media exposure, specifically the radio and TV programs Negosyo, atbp; Konsyumer, atbp; and Business and Beyond.
Meanwhile, the FDA, in efforts to cut down the steps and increase online interaction to facilitate the approval of food licensing applications, will launch the e-application program next month.
Streamlining the agency’s application and registration procedures has been long sought by the EDC, PhilExport, EMB, and other concerned stakeholders on behalf of MSMEs.
Under RA 10611, or the Food Safety Act of 2013, exporters, importers, traders,
manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors of cosmetics, food, and health products must secure a license to operate and certificate of product registration to ensure heeding safety and health standards.
RA 10611, approved on August 23, 2013, was followed with the signing on September 5, 2014 of Administrative Order (AO) 2014-0029, providing for the rules and regulations on licensing food establishments and registering processed food and other food products.
In addition, RA 9711, or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, stipulates licensing by the FDA of the manufacturing, import, export, sale, offer for sale, and distribution of processed food products, including food supplements.