Meat vendors and handlers have been mandated by the local government to undergo semi-annual trainings and seminars on the various laws affecting their business in the city.
Under Ordinance No. 053, series of 2021, it is a declared policy of the local government to ensure food safety by mandating the conduct of semi-annual trainings and seminars for all meat vendors and meat handlers on the various laws affecting their business.
The city stated that all meat vendors and handlers may become a member of a meat-related association whether in an old or new organization and the same shall lead to shared responsibility of the meat vendors and handlers during the pandemic and post-pandemic situation.
The association may be organized based on meat categories as meat handler, meat broker or vendor, chicken dealer, hog dealer, and other appropriate classifications and that the groups shall be duly registered.
However, the ordinance does not mandate a specific type of associations or entities as it it will depend on the members.
According to the ordinance, the semi-annual trainings or seminars shall not take the place of those conducted by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
The city encouraged meat vendor associations to conduct semi-annual trainings and seminars for the majority of their members, employees and family members involved in the meat business for them to be oriented purposely is for them to be aware and to comply with laws, rules and regulations to avoid the imposition of penalties for those involved in vending and handling meat.
During the trainings and seminars, the associations may include inputs from the CVAO, NMIS, Department of Agriculture, City Health Services Office and local laws from the local government.
The city tasked the Meat Market Monitoring Task Force through the CVAO to be responsible in the monitoring the conduct of the trainings and seminars while the meat vendors and meat handlers shall also monitor their own members in compliance with the aforesaid measure where a report shall be made as a result of the monitoring as far as the main purpose of minimizing violations of related laws, rules and regulations.
The task force shall execute actions on those who refuse to comply with the pertinent provisions of the said ordinance and shall recommend after assessment for the no issuance of permits or closure of business.
The ordinance also mandated the appropriation of some P250,000 for the first year of implementation to be included in the annual program of the CVAO and thereafter the budget that will be provided shall be based on the need as decided upon by the meat vendors, CVAO and the monitoring task force.
The ordinance was signed by Mayor Benjamin b. Magalong and the same shall be effective after it was posted on conspicuous places in the city for the information of the public.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Joseph B. Manzano