Representatives from the private sector and concerned Department of Agriculture (DA) agencies convened on March 18, 2022 for a national consultation on the Animal Feeds, Veterinary Drugs, and Biologics Industry.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries, in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Regulations and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), organized this activity to provide an avenue for discussion of pressing issues related to the aquaculture, poultry, and livestock industries.

In line with this, DA Assistant Secretary for Regulations and PCAF OIC Executive Director Liza Battad emphasized the importance of re-orienting industry stakeholders on the existing and updated guidelines on the regulation of animal feed manufacturing and importation.

Two separate breakout sessions, one for manufacturing and trading and one for importation, were organized to identify the most pressing gaps and challenges of the industry and generate policy recommendations, programs, and other specific interventions needed to address them.

One of the key suggestions during the breakout session was to harmonize DA and Department of Health regulatory guidelines and issuances for easier compliance of stakeholders and prevention of dual registration for certifications under BAI and the Food and Drug Administration.

On the other hand, it was also raised that there is a rising incidence of falsified Certificate of Analysis with the transition to online processing/evaluation of documents. The suggested course of action was to provide training on detection of fabricated documents for evaluation officers.

It was also recommended to review DA Administrative Order No. 09, s. 2009, or the Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Importation of Agricultural and Fish and Fishery/Aquatic Products, Fertilizers, Pesticides and Other Agricultural Chemicals, Veterinary Drugs and Biological Products into the Philippines with regard to the violations on the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance raised during the meeting.

These issues and corresponding recommendations among others will be consolidated and endorsed to the concerned agencies for their information and appropriate action. | JCL