Sale of food products by MSMEs in Baguio to be allowed

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance allowing the operation and sale of food products by micro-scale home kitchen entrepreneurs in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it will be a declared policy of the local government to authorize and support the sale of meals prepared in home kitchens and directly delivered by micro-scale home cooks, and provide adequate requirements and regulations for food handling and sanitation standards.

The ordinance added that a micro-scale home kitchen operation shall not be opened for business unless it has obtained a special permit issued by the local government wherein the issued permit will be non-transferable.

Further, the operator of a micro-scale kitchen must successfully pass an approved accreditation food safety certification examination.

Under the proposed ordinance, the applicant shall submit a written standard operating procedure that includes information on all food types or products that will be handled during operation, the procedures, methods of food preparation and handling and how food will be maintained at the required holding temperatures pending pick up by the customers or during delivered.

The ordinance stipulated that a micro-scale home kitchen operation shall be exempted from the limitations of outside display and sale of food, requirements pertaining to the installation of fixed, floor-mounted equipment, requirements to provide and use lockers, storage facilities and designated dressing areas, provided that, personal effects and clothings not ordinarily found in a home kitchen are placed away from food preparation areas and dressing takes place outside the kitchen and requirements pertaining to floor, wall and ceiling surfaces, provided that, the floor, wall and ceiling surfaces of the kitchen and toilet areas are smooth, of durable construction, and easily cleanable with no limitations of the use of wood, tiles, and other non-fine floor surfaces ordinarily used in private homes.

The ordinance claimed that the local government shall not prohibit the operation of, require a re-zone of the property for, or levy any fees on, or impose any other restriction on, a micro-scale home kitchen operation in any residential dwelling for zoning purposes and a micro-scale home kitchen operation shall be permitted if it complies with abstaining from posting signage or other outdoor displays advertising the said operation and compliance with any applicable ordinance.

The ordinance stated that the operator of a micro-scale home kitchen operation licensed by the local government who shall violate or cause another to violate any provision of the measure shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not more than 6 months or a fine of P5,000 or both at the secretion of the court. Moreover, the license issued by the local government shall be deemed automatically withdrawn or revoked.

The ordinance was referred to a committee for study and recommendation whether or not the same will be passed on second and third readings and for strict implementation.

By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by: Armando M. Bolislis

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