Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Isabela State University (ISU) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had its ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 20, 2024 at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Professionals Building, ISU-Echague. The signing was attended by officials from the said parties headed by Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino (University President) and Atty. Gomel C. Gabuna (Director II, FROO-North Luzon Cluster Member and FDA-MSMEs Committee), respectively.

With the project of the FDA, “Bigyang-halaga, Bangon MSMEs”, the administration aims to promote, support, strengthen and encourage the growth and development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by ensuring compliance with FDA standards, rules, and regulations in acquiring or securing the necessary and appropriate authorizations.

Following this, the administration seeks partnership with the University with the ultimate goal of opening the doors for and boosting MSMEs to market their products to the local and international market and make them competitive without compromising the safety, quality, and efficacy of the products they produce.

The signed MOU detailed the proposed partnership between the parties which include the establishment, planning, and implementation of strategies specific to training, capability building, assistance through the provision and allowing facilities to be used by qualified MSMEs; and providing a mechanism for direct coordination and accountability in the implementation of regulatory functions, and assistance as may be allowed by law, rules, and regulations.

In his message, Dr. Aquino expressed the commitment of the University to help with the provision of knowledge, skills, and resources that MSMEs need to thrive in the competitive business landscape. He shared the University’s vision of being both an educational and research institution that can help MSMEs to produce products not only for local consumption but for export.

“So as we embark on this journey, together, we invite all stakeholders including agencies, industry partners, civil society, organizations, and academia to join us in our collective efforts to unlock the full potential of MSMEs, realize the future of shared prosperity for all. Together, we can build a more inclusive, equitable, and resilient MSMEs – one where every entrepreneur has an opportunity to succeed,” Dr. Aquino said as he enjoined the University’s stakeholders.

As a response, the FDA, duly-represented by Atty. Gabuna, displayed their gratitude for the partnership with the University by stating that they now have the ability to go down the grassroots and be in direct contact with MSMEs because of ISU.

“This partnership shall be more of a collaborative partnership type wherein we’ll be training the personnel of Isabela State University of FDA licensing requirements, good manufacturing services, storage, housing, food safety, Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) requirements, as well as how to use FDA e-portal,” Atty. Gabuna cited some activities included in the partnership.

In the future, the partnership shall have two (2) phases, with the first phase being the training of possible trainers from the University and the second phase being the MSMEs training and capacity-building with the trained ISU staff.