As the demand for food services arise in the time of pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology Region 02 (DOST-RO2) conducted an online webinar on Food Fraud and Food Defense Prevention part 1 for Women Micro-Entrepreneurs (WMEs) in the region.

Resource Speaker DOST-RO2 SRS II Aileen C. Gonzales in her presentation explained the food defense which is the effort to protect food from intentional adulteration from acts intended to cause wide-scale harm to public health.

According to Ms. Gonzales, the firm must establish a food defense team that shall put in place appropriate control measures to reduce intentional threats to assure the protection of the food from intentional adulterations.

The focal person of the Cagayan Valley Food Safety Team (CVFST) also introduced the Threat Assessment Critical Control Point (TACCP) which is the systematic management of risk through the evaluation of threats, identification of vulnerabilities, and implementation of controls to materials and products, purchasing, processes, premises, people, distribution networks and business systems by a knowledgeable and trusted team with the authority to implement changes in the procedures.

The online webinar was joined by 89 WMEs from the different parts of the region and two participants from the Cotabato and professor from UP Diliman on June 25, 2020.

Overwhelmed with the number of the participants, DOST-RO2 Director Sancho A. Mabborang encouraged the participants by saying that this situation might be difficult, but it is not hopeless.

“Ang importante ay mag-survive, hindi ang kumita. ako ay naniniwala na ang inyong presensya signifies your interest in recovering, ‘wag mawalan ng pag-asa.”, Director Mabborang said as he uplifts the morale of the WMEs.

For her part, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operation Dr. Teresita A. Tabaog said that this webinar series dubbed #DOSTRO2WEEmpower was opened not just for WMEs under the DOST-RO2-PCW Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) project but also to all MSMEs and other interested individuals not only locally but nationwide.

Furthermore, the Regional Coordinator of the DOST-RO2-PCW WEE project, Mr. Porfirio Bajo emphasized that the WMEs must increase the level of positivity in running their firms, particularly in these trying times.

To further increase the understanding of the food handler-WMEs, DOST-RO2 will conduct another webinar on Food Fraud on July, 2020.

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