The Department of Trade and Industry has recommended a tie-up between the Food and Drug Administration and Negosyo Centres, a nationwide network of government offices opened to assist with bureaucratic procedures.
Senen Perlada, executive director of the Export Marketing Bureau, an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry, said that a common issue raised by exporters has been the time it took for their permits and licences to be processed.
The response, agreed together by the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Food Processors and Exporters Organisation and FDA, has been sent to the trade under-secretary, Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya.
As one-stop shops where micro, small, and medium enterprises can secure needed requirements without the need to shuttle from one office to another, Filipino law now mandates the establishment of Negosyo Centres in all provinces, cities, and municipalities.
The EMB also proposed in its letter increased media exposure for all new policies and guidelines issued by the FDA.
Meanwhile, in a bid to promote online food-licensing applications, the FDA will launch an e-application programme next month. Industry groups have long sought streamlined application and registration procedures through online portals.
Under the terms of the Food Safety Act of 2013, exporters, importers, traders, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors of cosmetics, food, and health products must secure a Licence to Operate and a certificate of product registration to comply with safety and health standards.