By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bongbong Villan Corporation yesterday assured the public that their products are safe for consumption. The company made a response after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “public health warning” against two of their products.
Based on an FDA Advisory No. 2021-1589 issued on Wednesday, they warned the public not to purchase or consume the Bongbong’s special piaya and polvoron small.
According to the FDA, the two food products were not registered and there are no corresponding Certificates of Product Registration that have been issued.
“Pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9711, otherwise known as the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009,” the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising or sponsorship of health products without the proper authorization is prohibited,” the FDA stated on its website.
The FDA pointed out that since these unregistered food products have not gone through the evaluation process of the FDA, the agency cannot assure its quality and safety.
In response to the FDA’s claims, Arlun Guilicaña, Sales Operations and Marketing Head for Bongbong Villan Corporation, assured the public that all of their products, including the two aforementioned by the FDA, are safe for consumption.
Guilicaña also presented a certificate coming from the FDA, showing that they have a License to Operate as a food manufacturer and it is valid until September 14, 2021.
The certificate was signed by Pilar Marilyn Pagayunan, FDA Director IV Center for Food Regulation and Research.
The said certification is for their bakery plant in La Carlota City’s Barangay Ayungon, where the manufacturing of piaya takes place.
Guilicaña explained they haven’t processed their registration yet for the original piaya.
He also showed another document wherein their ube-flavored piaya has a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) coming from the FDA, which would allow them to export the products not just to local supermarkets in the country, but also abroad.
“We processed at least 10 to 50 products to the FDA, since the CPR is required by some supermarkets and international shipping companies,” he explained.
He further explained the process of making both the original and ube piaya are the same, although the only difference is that they are using ube paste for the ube piaya.
When asked what would have caused the FDA to issue a warning on their original Piaya, Guilicaña said they believe it has something to do with the packaging’s nutritional facts which has a different format and not been properly checked by their Quality Assurance team.
Guilicaña said they are already rectifying the problem with the format of their product’s nutritional facts in order to meet the standards of the FDA, and they are also coordinating with the said office so their product can be fully approved.
As for their polvoron, he said they are also processing the registration of the product with the FDA, and has also assured that it is safe for consumption.
He further added their polvoron is only sold locally and they have not yet started exporting the product./DGB, WDJ