Free Webinars from PhilMSTQ in the Time of Pandemic

The CoVID-19 pandemic had changed the ways people conduct business. Government restrictions and guidelines were promulgated to protect the health and safety of everyone. Different categories of community quarantines were implemented depending on the severity of CoVID-19 cases. Despite these unprecedented times, PhilMSTQ continues to raise awareness on the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and in line with the new normal, PhilMSTQ went online with back to back to back webinars last 19 June, 23 July and 11 August 2020.

19 June 2020. This webinar coincides with the celebrations of World Food Safety Day (June 7) and World Accreditation Day (June 9). Although a bit late for the two world celebration days, food safety will always be relevant to the lives of Filipinos especially in the current CoVID-19 pandemic. Accreditation on the other hand, ensures that service providers (e.g. food retailers and handlers) are competent and act impartially in the conduct of their tasks (e.g. food delivery and food pick-up). The webinar started with Ms. Shirley Botor, PhilMSTQ President providing insights on accreditation and its role in food safety, and the different conformity assessment activities in the food supply chain.

Mr. Cristopher Millena, Laboratory Head of DOST V, RSTL presented a comprehensive talk on “FS-CoVID-19: Ensuring Food Safety for Food Pick-up and Delivery in the New Normal”. He emphasized that currently, there are no evidence linking CoVID-19 transmission via food. CoVID-19 is a respiratory illness and is primarily transmitted through person-to-person and direct contact with respiratory droplets. Droplets from an infected person that land on objects that may contaminate the mouth, eyes and nose may cause possible transmission. To ensure food safety, personnel involved in food handling are required to maintain high degree of cleanliness when entering food handling-processing area(s). Food delivery personnel are required to follow strict hygiene and sanitation protocols, safety packaging and zero contact delivery. He further discussed the importance of NQI in ensuring food safety especially in the food pick-up and delivery sectors and in the time of a pandemic.

23 July 2020. Ms. Shirley Botor provided insights on standards and technical regulations and the current status of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) in the Philippines. Mr. Admer Rey Caluya Dablio, Technical Manager of STD-ITDI and a member of the Technical Working Group on the Revision of the PNSDW, DOH, 2015-2017, zeroed in on “Drinking Water: Regulations, Testing and Consumer Responsibility“. He further posed a challenge to the participants on their responsibilities with regards the safety and quality of our drinking water. To know more about his discussions, you can view the presentation here.

11 August 2020. Ms. Dinah Lyra Dela Cruz Pantaleon, an entrepreneur/ business owner of Radin Food Products shared her inspiring journey as a proprietor in the webinar titled, “An MSME’s Journey to Success through NQI“. Her story told of a humble beginning of a “guinamos” business; how it captured the international market through the use of NQI (i.e. testing, certification, calibration) and at the same time following technical regulations. Her talk also tackled the challenges she encountered from technical operation to dealing with clients and also coping in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She emerged triumphant because she never gave up on her passion in the journey she chose, entering into all possible opportunities (such as considering possible help from the government, participating in trade fairs, etc.) and crossing all challenges by keeping the faith. Watch her inspiring story in an AVP published by DTI-Agusan del Sur, Ka-Negosyo Ipasigarbo, here.

This webinar was capped by a presentation of Ms. Vilma Sanchez Cembrano, member, PhilMSTQ Board of Trustees, on the “Impact of NQI on Consumers and the Industry” including the challenges in implementing NQI in the Philippines.

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