A study of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) is pushing for the creation of a one-stop processing venue for the various certifications required by food safety regulatory agencies (FSRAs) in a bid to streamline regulatory procedures in the food sector.
The study, authored by former PIDS president Gilberto Llanto and consultant Nerlita Manalili, said food manufacturing firms have claimed they are incurring high transaction cost in securing such certificates.
They were also asking for more sector-specific information on the regulatory requirements imposed by the FSRAs to guide their compliance effort, while standards and protocols should satisfy current internationally recognized ones, the authors added.
To address regulatory issues in the food manufacturing sector, the study also underscored the importance of improving the operation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the regulation coordinating body.
“Because most of the regulatory concerns are associated with the FDA, the government needs to improve the agency’s operational capacity and effectiveness,” the authors said.
Llanto and Manalili further said the FDA also needs to be provided with adequate human resources and modern facilities.
It likewise needs to improve the capacity of the Food Safety Regulation Coordinating Board, which is responsible for establishing and coordinating policies on the food safety regulation functions, they said.
In the food sector, the study said all the FSRAs should convene and formulate the best approaches to improve the current food regulatory system.