By: Myrrh Caithlin L. Gutierrez
As support to Philippine Commission on Women’s (PCW) focus area on Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE), DOST-CALABARZON conducted a series of forum and trainings for women micro entrepreneurs, specifically coffee processors, in CALABARZON from February 10-13, 2020 at DOST-CALABARZON Regional Office.
On the first day, Ms. Anna Rina Evangelista oriented the participants on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)- License to Operate (LTO) and FDA-Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) processes. On the following days, the DOST-CALABARZON Food Safety Team members, Ms. Lyn Fernandez, Ms. Niña Giron, Ms. Lorelie Dorado, Ms. Anna Daigan, Ms. Precious Monedera, and Ms. Jenny Bronburac conducted several trainings on Basic Food Hygiene, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Food Safety Hazards.
These forum and trainings are expected to onset the assistance to be provided for the women coffee processors. DOST-CALABARZON, in partnership with PCW-WEE project, eyes to assist the women entrepreneurs in complying with basic food safety standards to acquire FDA-LTO and CPR. Next activities laid out for this plan is the training writeshop on GMP manual and records preparation, implementation, mock audit, and turnover of packaging and labelling assistance to the MSMEs.
The participants commended the initiative of DOST-CALABARZON and PCW. Dr. Estela Taño of Green Rescue said “Nakita ko ang mga dapat gawin to acquire LTO at CPR. Gayundin, ang mga dapat bantayan sa negosyo ng pagkain: contaminants, hazards, toxins. Mapapataas din ang quality ng finished product, self-confidence in the business, at consumer’s confidence/[trust].”
“Malaking tulong po ang seminar na ito dahil ito po ay nagbigay sa amin ng kaalaman kung paano magiging safe at quality ang aming produkto at paano o ano ang mga dapat naming gawin para maka comply sa requirement ng FDA. Maraming salamat po! Please, more quality seminars like this.” Ms. Emmalyn Rubrico of AbsMush added.
PCW-WEE is a project supported by DOST-CALABARZON that aims to provide women “access to and control over high-value productive resources”. It supports women in accessing more and better jobs, starting and doing businesses, and having greater livelihood security. WEE envisions women to have “decent jobs and humane working conditions, while enjoying benefits from wealth-creating opportunities equal with men” (Philippine Commission on Women, 2009).