Press Release
December 30, 2008

As we indulge with our Holiday Feasts

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that Filipinos should be conscious and concerned about what their families eat in order to ensure food safety and enhance consumer awareness especially in this season when we indulge ourselves with holiday feasts.

"In these trying times, some Filipinos would compromise food safety and would rather risk on cheaper food products to stretch their meager budget. Now, we should remind them that efforts must be exerted to ensure that affordability comes with safety," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

He added, "Government should ensure that all fronts are covered when it comes to food safety. Collaboration of agencies such as the Department of Health through Bureau of Food and Drug (BFAD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Customs (BoC) and also Local Government Units should be maintained to ensure food safety."

During Christmas Season, food demand jumps by leaps anticipating the traditional holiday feasts of Noche Buena and Media Noche during Christmas' Eve and New Year's Eve respectively. Demand for fruits and traditional New Year's bounty mainstays like ham and Quezo de Bola likewise increase during this season.

This surge in demand, as our basic economy will tell us, most likely will result to a corresponding increase in prices.

According to statistics, Christmas is a season when prices normally spike by at least three to five percent due to increased demand.

"Filipino consumers, armed with adequate information and secured with proper regulatory atmosphere from the Government, could celebrate Christmas free from food safety concerns. Consumers, however, must be extra careful on what they buy and eat in this Yuletide season," added Angara.

The recent food safety crisis, involving melamine-tainted milk products from China, highlighted the need to modernize the BFAD wherein employees needed to work double time in order to hasten testing of products. Meanwhile, DTI and BoC had a hard time ensuring that banned products are not sold in the market.

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