SMALL entrepreneurs in Ilocos Norte are now moving closer to producing more globally-competitive food products with the assistance of a mobile packaging toll facility financed through a grant from the Industrial Guarantee & Loan Fund (IGLF) and administered by state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

The pilot mobile packaging toll facility is part of a P5-million grant assistance to the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) business assistance center that offers a host of technical support services to enterprising Ilocanos in the province.

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Food products

The facility has initially packaged sachets of solid and liquid food products such as chichacorn and sukang Iloko, with other products such as longganisa, bagnet and processed garlic soon to follow. The mobile facility moves from one municipality to another to respond to the packaging requirements of small entrepreneurs in the province.

The mobile packaging toll facility, which was launched in March, supports the agro-industrial development program pushed by local government units in the province particularly the promotion of Ilocano food products under the One Town, One Product (Otop) program of the Department of Trade and Industry.

The grant also financed the improvement of the MMSU food safety laboratory, which will help in ensuring the quality assurance of food products in the province. The laboratory has institutionalized food safety measures as observed in the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and undertaken standardized processing of local food products in Ilocos Norte. (PR)