Agenda Item 4.2 Conference Room Document 17
English only

second fao/who global forum of food safety regulators

Bangkok, Thailand, 12-14 October 2004

Legal basis for food safety official and non official control

(Prepared by the Philippines)

I. Introduction

The Bureau of Food and Drugs is the key regulatory agency of the Department of Health, Philippines with major responsibilities in ensuring safety, efficacy, and quality of food products, drugs, vaccines and biologicals, in vitro, diagnostic reagents, medical devices, cosmetics and household hazardous substances.

The following are the routine functions of BFAD related to food:

II. Legal Basis for Regulation

The Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) derived its mandate from the Philippine Constitution, particularly Article II Section 15 "To protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them." and Article XIII Section 12 which provides, "The state shall establish and maintain an effective food and drug regulatory system and undertake appropriate health manpower development and research responsive to the country’s health needs and problems." Republic Act 3720, otherwise known as the "Food Drugs, Devices and Cosmetic Act" of 1963 established the BFAD.

Executive Order 175 strengthened RA 3720 through the following provisions: 1) including the adulteration or misbranding of any food as a prohibited act 2) extending the liability for violation of R.A 3720 as amended to the following personnel of a food establishment: Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, General Manager, or partners of a juridical person; 3) authorizing the BFAD to conduct hearings related to violation of R.A 3720 as amended; 4) authorizing the Director to issue notices and conduct hearings re: adulterated, misbranded or unregistered food products; 5) giving the BFAD Director authority to recommend for criminal prosecution to the Department of Justice any violations of any provisions of said Act and 6) empowering the Secretary of Health to call for assistance any Department, Office or Agency for effective implementation of R.A 3720.

Executive Order 119 was promulgated on January 30, 1987 which designated BFAD as the policy formulation and sector monitoring arm of the Minister of Health on matters pertaining to foods, and the formulation of rules, regulations, and standards in accordance with R.A 3720 and other pertinent laws for their proper enforcement. It also prescribed general standards and guidelines with respect to the veracity of nutritional and medicinal claims in the advertisement of food in the various media. It authorized the BFAD to maintain a corps of specially trained food and drugs inspectors for assignment to the various field offices of the Ministry of Health.

In an effort to protect the consumers, the DOH through BFAD implements pertinent provisions of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, Republic Act 7394. The said law established the National Consumer Affairs Council to improve the management, coordination and effectiveness of programmes for the promotion of the welfare of consumers. Also in line with this law, three implementing agencies, the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Trade and Industry passed and approved Joint DTI-DOH-DA Administrative Order No. 1 s.1994 pertaining to the rules and regulations in the procedures and disposition of consumer complaints filed before the said agencies (BFAD in case of the DOH).

R.A 7394 mandates the BFAD to regulate the use of Food Additives. R. A. 8976 "Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000 and R. A. 8172" ASIN LAW, promotes the nutritional fortification of food particularly iron, Vitamin A & iodine to combat micronutrient malnutrition.

The other laws and regulations being implemented by the BFAD are: Executive Order No. 51 "Adopting a National Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements, and related products, Administrative Orders and Bureau Circulars for Food Labeling and Packaging, Product Registration, Food Licensing & Inspection, Food import /export, Food Standards, Food Additives, and Food Contaminants and collection and submission of samples of food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices for physico-chemical analysis..

Administrative Order No. 208 s. 1974 "Human Foods: Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacture, Processing, Packaging or Holding." determines whether the facilities, methods, practices and controls used in manufacture, processing, packing, or holding of food are in conformance with or are operated or administered in conformity with good manufacturing practices to assure that food for human consumption is safe and has been prepared and held under sanitary conditions.

III. Non Official Control Services:

Partnership with Industry, Joint BFAD- Industry Committees on Food

One of the activities under BFAD’s Food Control System strengthening is partnership with industry. The Joint BFAD-Industry Committee on Food is an ad hoc tie up between industry and government, this was organized on October 20, 2000 to address mutual concerns of BFAD and the food industry in the enforcement of regulations relative to food safety and quality. The joint committee also considers projects that will promote the enhancement of consumer protection and fair trade practice. Technical working groups were identified such as Technical Working Group on Codification on Food Laws and Regulations, Systems and Procedures, Licensing and Registration, Food Standards, Food Labeling. The objectives of this committee are:

PHILFOODEX INC.-Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc.

The Philippine Food Processors & Exporters Organization, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization of small, medium and large food manufacturers and exporters with the sole objective of achieving world class stature for Philippine food products. The organization offers various opportunities in service to its members such as:


The Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers, Inc., a non-stock, non-profit organization exists primarily to help the country attain self-sufficiency in food production and expand the local market by encouraging the manufacture of food products that would otherwise be imported from abroad. Organized on December 5, 1958, and now with about 80 member companies of some of the leading names in food manufacturing and service, the Chamber is cognizant of the need to further stimulate consumer demand and continues to look for ways to promote their food products both locally and abroad. At the same time, it tries to promote the competitiveness of these products by ensuring high quality and reasonable prices. Another goal of the Chamber is to foster close relations among food companies in the country, so that they can become a strong force that can effectively secure new legislation and amendments to existing laws for the benefit of the food industry. Along this line, it makes representations with the government for assistance, protection and cooperation on food industry concerns and issues.


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company whose services are being availed of by some private manufacturers in the Philippines. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 37,000 employees, SGS operates a network of about 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world. The core services offered by SGS can be divided into three categories:

IV. Conclusion:

The legal framework in which the BFAD works is sufficient to address the demands for the promotion of food safety. One aspect that can be improved, however, is the codification of the different Bureau Circulars, Rules and Regulations in order to have a definitive reference for BFAD officials as well as the general public.