January 23, 2017
Senate oks bill recognizing, regulating food industry profession in PHL
With 23 affirmatives votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention, the Senate today approved on third reading a measure that would formally recognize and regulate the food technology profession in the country.
Senate Bill No. 1269, or the "Philippine Food Technology Act of 2017" was authored by Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV, chair of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, and Senator Loren Legarda.
According to Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, the approval of the measure was part of the Senate's efforts to empower professions and industries which directly help improve the daily lives of Filipinos: "By introducing reforms to the food technology profession, we help food technologists improve their indispensable service to the public."
Trillanes, who sponsored the measure, said that the bill would primarily "provide for the registration, licensure, and regulation of the practice of food technology as a profession in the country."
"With the fast pace of technological developments and growing global competitiveness in the food technology sector, this measure is relevant in honing and producing highly capable and globally competitive Filipino food technologists," Trillanes said.
He stressed that despite the significant role of food technology in the country's food security, it has yet to be formally recognized by the government as a profession.
"A number of universities offer courses on food technology, but its practice is not yet properly regulated by the government. The graduates of such courses are not being issued licenses to practice; instead, they are only accredited by recognized food technology organizations," he noted.
To address these policy gaps, Trillanes said that the bill mandated the establishment of a new government body - the Board of Food Technology - which would "discharge powers and functions as the Board may deem necessary for the practice of the profession and the upgrading, enhancement, development, and growth of food technology in the Philippines."
The proposed board, he said, would fall "under the administrative supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)."
The bill also mandated the creation of "a single national professional organization through the Accredited Integrated Professional Organization (AIPO) to be recognized by the PRC through the Board of Food Technology."
According to Trillanes, a person who wishes to practice food technology must now obtain a valid certificate of registration and professional licensure issued by the Board of Food Technology and the PRC.
He later added that the proposed measure also includes "a policy of reciprocity that would pave the way for Filipino food technologists to practice abroad, provided that we also afford the same privilege to the citizens of the receiving county."
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