Screenshot from DOT Philippines page

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday formally partnered with the Food Safety & Hygiene Academy of the Philippines (FoodSHAP) to level up its accreditation process in the area of food safety.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the two parties was signed by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and FoodSHAP Managing Director Elsie Gatpayat.

Under the MOA, FoodSHAP will offer sponsorship and advocacies in tourism by providing training, assistance, and information to concerned DOT officers and stakeholders free of charge.

This would also include programs on foundations of food safety, basic food safety for food handlers, principles in practice, and other food safety programs that may be identified.

The DOT will receive regular reports and updates as well as request the data or information to enhance educational programming and assist in the development of its accreditation standards.

Romulo-Puyat said the partnership is timely as the Philippines slowly reopens its destinations in accordance with strict health protocols imposed by the government.

“By increasing consumer confidence and patronizing food and beverage outlets, we will spur economic recovery and revitalize the tourism industry,” she said.

Gatpayat, meanwhile, said the partnership reflects FoodSHAP’s commitment to supporting the development of a “food safety culture” in the Philippines.

“As we are now in the new normal and the tourism sector is significantly hit by the pandemic, promoting the Philippines as a safe destination in the next coming months would be challenging while maintaining international standards,” she said.

“As a social enterprise, we are enjoined to live up to our advocacies despite all the challenges brought by the pandemic and that is to raise the awareness of food handlers on food safety,” she added. (PNA)