THE Department of Science and Technology (DoST) is pushing the benefits of its food safety program, which it said will help companies get on the permit and registration fast track.

In a briefing Friday, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said that the DoST set up a Food Safety Consultancy Program to help food establishments and vendors learn about food safety policies and regulations.

While the DoST issues no permits to any businesses, he said the program can help certify firms seeking to obtain their license to operate from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and sanitary permits from their municipalities.

“We have been doing this (for a while) but we want to let this be known more,” he said in an interview with.

The program is a “framework of interventions” for the food industry, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), can use in order to ensure their compliance.

Mr. De la Peña noted that there are two components of the program: Food Safety Assessment and Food Safety Training.

“The first program component is the food safety assessment for our MSMEs which includes assistance on crop layout, food safety audit, training on good manufacturing practices (GMP)… and HACCP (Hazard and Critical Control Point Analysis System) labeling and packaging… The second component is the food safety training,” Mr. De la Peña said.

“We have helped a lot through this program,” Mr. De la Peña added.

Besides easier approvals of licenses and permits, establishments that undergo the program also experience reduced waste from production and increased productivity.

Last year, the DoST released its Unified Food Safety Training modules to its regional offices. The modules discussed basic food hygiene, food safety hazards, and GMP. — Gillian M. Cortez