Bongbong’s says products safe despite FDA warning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned healthcare professionals and the public not to purchase and consume Bongbong’s special piaya and small polvoron.

In FDA Advisory No.2021-1589 issued on June 28, the agency said it verified through online monitoring or post-marketing surveillance that the food products are “not registered and no corresponding Certificates of Product Registration (CPR) have been issued.”

Aside from Bongbong’s, a producer of staple delicacies in Bacolod City, the FDA also warned the public against consuming Sloan’s Food Products Barquillos Short, Mayo Bay Tablea, and Ruffa’s Banana Chips in its advisory.

Pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9711, otherwise known as the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, the agency stressed that “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.”

Since these unregistered food products have not gone through the evaluation process of the FDA, the agency cannot assure its quality and safety, it added in the advisory.

FDA warned the said establishments not to distribute, advertise, or sell the “violative food products until CPR are issued, otherwise, regulatory actions and sanctions shall be strictly pursued.”

The agency also urged the public to check if the product is registered at the FDA Verification Portal to ensure its quality, as well as look for the FDA registration number on the product label.

“All law enforcement agencies and local government units are requested to ensure that these products are not sold or made available in the market or areas of jurisdiction,” the FDA stressed.

The Bureau of Customs is also urged to restrain the entry of unregistered imported products.

In a media interview, Arlun Guilicaña, sales operations and marketing head of Bongbong Villan Corporation, assured the public their piaya is safe to eat, and that they’re only unregistered.

He said that piaya ube, which has the same ingredients as its original flavor, was approved by the FDA until 2023.

He said that it was only recently they were required to process CPR since they are selling in supermarkets and that overseas Filipino workers are bringing these products outside of the country.

He said that the piaya has a different format, and was not according to the international standard, but has stressed that they are currently processing the registration.

He admitted that their fault was in monitoring the documents, adding that they must have forgotten it during the pandemic.

But he reiterated that their products are safe to eat as their factory was FDA-approved.

He added they are already coordinating with the FDA in processing their CPR.*

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