BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance setting the sanitation standards for food establishments operating in the city and providing penalties for violation of the prescribed provisions of the measure.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab states the primary purpose of the measure is to set the sanitation standards for food establishments to safeguard public health and ensure the cleanliness and overall sanitation of all business establishments in the city.
The ordinance shall cover all commercial establishments, be it a food establishment or a non-food establishment, including those located in vessels, food containers and vehicles and food sold in the streets, that are operating within the city.
Under the proposed ordinance, all food must be obtained from sources approved by the local health authority, including all regulatory offices, thus, the same must strictly adhere to the prescribed requirements such as all meat shall come from duly licensed slaughterhouses inspected and approved; fish, shrimps, prawns, shellfish, seaweeds and other seafood, brackish water foods, surface water foods and food from aquaculture farms or ponds shall not come from sources in any manner polluted; vegetable and fruits shall come from safe sources where the soil is not contaminated by night soil, seaweeds and toxic chemicals; no meat products, fish, vegetables and other foods shall be procured from sources known to have been affected by radioactivity and all milk and milk products shall come from approved sources and shall meet the standards and quality established by the regulatory authorities.
The ordinance stipulates all sewage discharged from food establishments shall be disposed in a public sewage system, or in the absence thereof, in a manner complying with the implementing provisions of Presidential Decree No. 522, Chapter XVII of PD 856 and its implementing rules and regulations, and applicable provisions of PD 1096 also known as the National Building Code of the Philippines.
Among the prohibited acts of owners and managements of food establishments include operating a food establishment without securing a business permit; operating a food establishment without an updated business permit; employing a person without a health certificate or without an updated health certificate; knowingly, allowing, abating, or tolerating an employee to work in food handling and preparation while affected with a communicable disease or carrier of such disease; and on the part of the employee, employees working in the food establishment without pertinent permits; working without an updated health certificate and non-observance of the pertinent provisions of the proposed measure.
Owners and managers of establishments found violating the pertinent provisions of the proposed measure shall fined P3,000 for the first offense, P4,000 for the second offense and P5,000 and suspension or revocation of business permit for the third and succeeding offenses.
On the part of the employee, he or she will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months at the discretion of the court for the third and succeeding offenses.
The revocation or suspension of the business permit to operate any food establishment shall also be suspended for at least 1 week but not more than 1 month. By Dexter A. See