National Food Fair Part 2 On December 2014

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to organize two editions of the Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair (NFF) this year. The first one just finished last March 26 to 30 while the second edition is on December 3 to 7, in time for the Christmas season.

DTI sees a big potential in the food sector for generating employment and developing various backward and forward linkages aside from attracting wholesale and retail buyers.

“Trade fairs have been and by far, DTI’s most effective promotions strategy especially for food products. It must be noted that 50% of MSMEs belongs to the food and beverage sector. In addition, the food sector has tremendous potential to generate employment. So the DTI Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair allows us to focus on the sector where we have a competitive advantage,” DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo said during the opening ceremony on March 26.

In its March event, DTI, through the Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT), in cooperation with DTI Regional and Provincial Offices and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), has showcased three pavilions, namely, pili nuts, seafood and coffee.

With the tagline “Piling-piling Pagkaing Pilipino”, it featured specialty foods and beverages from all over the country, including such products as fruit wines and liqueurs, herbal teas and health supplements, spices and condiments, snacks and pastries, and a Filipino kitchen to prepare mouthwatering delicacies.

During the opening ceremony of the fair, BDT Director Rhodora Leaño noted that the total number of exhibitors already exceeded their target, from 220 to a number close to 240 exhibitors.

With its two editions this year, DTI aims to showcase more of the best of the country’s food products and to provide more business and employment opportunities to SMEs.

Another highlight of the event was the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DTI, represented by Regional Operations and Development Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya and the SM Malls, represented by its Executive Vice President Ricky Lim for the establishment of DTI Business Service Centers in all SM Malls nationwide. The DTI Business Service Centers will initially cover 25 SM Malls in Metro Manila as well as SM Malls in Bacoor and Dasmariñas in Cavite, Santa Rosa and Calamba in laguna, Marilao in Bulacan, and Masinag in Antipolo.

The event also featured Awareness Seminars on online marketing, licensing of food establishments or food business operators, guidelines for registration of processed and cooked foods, and duties of MSMEs as responsible taxpayers.

Cooking demonstrations and a cooking contest were staged by Cook Magazine during the trade fair.

For more information on the fair, you may contact the DTI through the Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT) at 751.3223, or email at bdt@dti.gov.ph. The BDT is at the ground floor of the Trade and Industry Building, 361 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City. You may also visit the fair’s website at http://www.sikatpinoyfairs.com, or “like” its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SikatPinoyFairs.

DTI conducts consultation on PH qualification framework

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In line with its Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) information campaign, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently conducted a consultation and workshop with the education sector on the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF).

“Through this activity, we intend not just to develop and disseminate information on the features and components of the PQF but more importantly tackle the framework’s impact on education, industry, professionals, skilled labor and employers, and related issues,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said.

The PQF is a national policy that describes the levels of educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualifications outcomes. The institutionalization of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) or Executive Order No. 83 Series of 2012 was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on October 1, 2012.

The activity was organized through the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). It was also supported by the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Work Program (AANZFTA ECWP).

Participants included representatives of various institutions and organizations of the education sector, and officials of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“To back the national and international mobility of workers through increased recognition of the value and comparability of the country’s qualifications, the PQF is aligned with international qualifications framework,” Manalo said.

During the activity, a comprehensive discussion on the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) and the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) was presented by Teresita R. Manzala, chairperson of the PRC. Manzala is also the chairperson of the ASEAN Task Force on the (National Qualifications) ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.

The AQRF provides opportunities to open up large market for goods, skilled labor and professionals. It is a common reference framework that provides a device to enable comparisons of qualifications across participating ASEAN countries.

Manzala mentioned the importance of encouraging the development of national approaches to validating learning gained outside formal education and enabling comparisons of qualifications across member countries that will support recognition of qualifications. In doing this, the AQRF will be able to promote and encourage education, learner and worker mobility, and higher quality qualifications systems.

The ASEAN member states agreed that 2018 is target year for referencing national qualifications frameworks with the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.