Press Release
June 24, 2016

Villar bats for competitiveness of the food sector

Senator Cynthia A. Villar underscored the need to enhance the country's food sector competitiveness due to its huge potential to help spur economic growth.

"In my capacity as a legislator, I want to add to those impetuses that will create further growth and development in food and agriculture through various legislations," said Villar.

She stressed that these legislations will make Filipino food entrepreneurs and companies globally competitive.

"We really have a lot of good things going in the Philippine agriculture sector that of course greatly affect the growth of the food industry as well. The momentum is here," said Villar.

Being the chairperson of the Senate Agriculture and Food committee, Villar said she went on official trips last year and attended various food events in Rome, Venice, and Germany.

She said the food events included the World Food Day celebration in Milan, the Plenary Session of the Committee on Food Security of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO in Rome and the Anuga Food Fair in Cologne, Germany, among others.

She said it was the country's 18th participation at Anuga. She related that last year's Philippine pavilion featured total of 35 food-exporting companies, represented by over 96 delegates from the food sector.

"And our participation was expected to generate US$52.80 million or PhP2.376 billion in export sales, which was further expected to provide an estimated 45,520 new job opportunities for our fellow Filipinos," said Villar.

The senator was the guest speaker during the 10th Manila Foods and Beverages Expo (MAFBEX), which has been providing companies involved with food and beverage with an ideal platform to promote their product, held at World Trade Center Metro Manila.

She commended MAFBEX for providing a big help to food-related companies and entrepreneurs.

"I have also been attending various trade fairs and expos here and abroad. And I know that many of the participants are 'food entrepreneurs' which are under the category agri-entrepreneurs," said Villar.

Furthermore, Villar said aware that half of the micro, small, and medium enterprises or MSMEs in the country are involved in the food and beverage sector.

She said MSMEs comprise more than 98 percent of the businesses in the country and provide more than 65 percent of jobs.

"So, expos such as MAFBEX, play a very important role in the growth of trade and business in the country. On top of that, provides invaluable service and support to entrepreneurs and MSMEs," added Villar.

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