By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) no. 11052 which creates the Professional Regulatory Board of Food Technology which regulates the practice in the Philippines.
Food technology refers to the application of physical, biological, and behavioral sciences to the conversion of raw materials into safe, stable, palatable, and nutritious foods. It also includes the processes of handling, storage, processing, packaging, distribution, and utilization of food.
The law, signed by Duterte on June 29, states that the government recognizes the importance of professional food technologists in nation-building and development.
“Hence, it shall develop and nurture competent, virtuous, productive, and well-rounded professional food technologists whose standards of practice and service shall be excellent, world-class, and globally competitive through honest, effective, relevant, and credible licensure examinations,” it said.
Based on the law, the Professional Regulatory Board of Food Technology will be supervised by the Professional Regulation Commission.
It is tasked to promulgate, administer, and enforce rules and regulations; and supervise and regulate the registration, licensure, and practice of food technology in the country.
The Board is also mandated to issue special permits to persons admitted to the practice of food technology for a specific duration of time, and certificates of recognition for advanced studies, researches and accomplishments that contribute to the enrichment of the profession.
It will also coordinate with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to ensure that all academic institutions offering food technology education comply with policies, standards, and requirements prescribed by CHED.
The Board will also prepare and issue the syllabi of the subjects for examinations, and adopt a program for the full computerization of the licensure exams.
It will also prescribe and adopt a Code of Ethics and a Code of Technical Standards, and hear and investigate cases on violations. The Board can also issue summons and subpoenas to alleged violators and witnesses. All decisions of the Board become final in 15 days unless the PRC appeals.
The Board will be composed of a Chairperson and two members who will be appointed by the President from a list submitted by the PRC. The nominees will be chosen and ranked by the integrated and accredited professional organization of food technologists.
A member of the Board should be A Filipino citizen who has been living in the Philippines for at least five years. They should also be a degree holder of a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology as conferred by an educational institute both local or international as long as the program is recognized by CHED.
They must be registered food technologist with valid certificate and license, and has been in the active practice of the profession in the Philippines for at least five years.
Nominees should also not have any financial interest with any academic institution conferring a degree on food technology, or an institution where review classes in preparation for the licensure exam are being offered or conducted.
They should also not be members of the faculty or the school’s administration at the time of the appointment, and should not have previous convictions involving moral turpitude.
Term of office
Members of the Board will hold a term of three years, or until a successor is appointed. Their compensation will be the same as members of other existing regulatory boards under the PRC.
However, the President, as recommended by the PRC, can remove or suspend any the members after a hearing due to neglect of duty, incompetence, malpractice, commission or tolerance of irregularities in any examinations given by the Board, manipulation or rigging of the said exams, tampering of grades, or unprofessional or unethical conduct.
Licensure exam requirements
Those who will undertake the exams must be a Filipino citizen, or a citizen of a country that has a reciprocity agreement with the Philippines on the practice of food technology.
They must also hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Technology by an institution recognized and duly accredited by CHED.
Those convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude cannot take the licensure exam.
To pass the exam, a candidate must obtain a passing rating of 75 percent in each of the four subjects given during the exams.
The licensure exam will cover Physical, Chemical, Biological, and Microbiological Principles; Food Processing, Preservation and Food Engineering; Quality Sensory Evaluation of Food; and Food Laws and Regulations.