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DA jump-starts Food Safety Awareness Week ‘23

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (DA-OASR) leads this year’s celebration of the Food Safety Awareness Week with the theme, “Pagkaing ligtas, masustansiya, at sapat, susi sa magandang kalusugan ng lahat.”

The said celebration, held every last week of October to intensify public awareness and participation in government efforts related to the promotion of food safety, is an annual celebration pursuant to the Presidential Proclamation No. 160, series of 1999.

“By having safe, nutritious, and adequate food as the foundation of a healthy Philippine society, we affirm our belief that food safety stands to make an indispensable contribution to nation-building,” DA Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and Regulations Mercedita A. Sombilla expressed.

She also noted that the Department’s food safety efforts in the next decade should focus on recalibrating related policy paradigms, creating and strengthening partnerships to mainstream food safety, ensuring protection from cross-contamination and food-borne illnesses, intensifying information dissemination to educate the public, and acknowledging the vital role of food safety in attaining food security.

During her speech, Usec. Sombilla shared that the Food Safety Awareness Week 2023 celebration is a significant milestone as it coincides with the tenth anniversary of the passage of the Republic Act No. 10611 or the Food Safety Act.

Spearheading the initiatives related to food safety is the DA-Food Safety Focal Group (FSFG),

which plans, formulates, monitors, and evaluates all food safety-related initiatives of the Department. The Group also serves as the primary consolidator and disseminator of information regarding food safety as well as harmonizes DA’s related efforts among its member-agencies.

It is headed by the DA-OASR and is composed of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), Food Development Center (FDC), National Dairy Authority (NDA), National Food