The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading a resolution prescribing the rules and regulations on the entry, handling, and sale of fish, frozen and processed fish and other fishery products in the city.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan, Jr., all fish and fishery products entering the city market shall be accompanied by auxiliary invoice and local transport permit with the exact volume of the products.
Further, unloading of fish and fishery products must be at the designated ‘bagsakan’ areas identified by the city government while fish and fishery products in boxes unloaded from the trucks shall be placed in impervious or on platforms elevated from the ground.
The ordinance will prohibit the sorting of fish at the unloading area and throwing of fish in the ‘banyera’ or crates or insulated chest or storage boxes during unloading to prevent damage.
Among the rules on the wholesale and retail of fish and fishery products include the fact that the whole sale of fish and fishery products must be at the designated ‘bagsakan’ area or wholesale areas identified by the city government and retailing of these should only be done in individual stalls.
On the other hand, all fish post-harvest facilities such as fish processing plants, cold storage, and other fishery business establishments must have valid business permits, secure license to operate from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and conform to the minimum standards set by the FDA, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the city government.
The ordinance states that stray animals and pets are not allowed in any fish market; fish stalls or fish containers shall be protected from insects or rodents; fish stalls, equipment and tools shall be kept clean, free of contaminants and foul odors and shall be in good condition; fish stalls shall be free from personal belongings such as clothes, footwear, blankets, tobacco, and other forms of contaminants; fish markets, including floor and surrounding areas, shall be cleaned and disinfected regularly; the display area shall be made of stainless steel; trash containers shall be emptied and cleaned at the end of the sale period and proper drainage system shall be installed and maintained.
Any person found to have violated pertinent provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized with the confiscation of fishery products not declared from the city transport permit and a fine of P2,000 for the first offense; confiscation and revocation of business permit and a fine of P5,000 for succeeding offenses.
Moreover, any person defying, harassing or obstructing enforcers in implementing any provision of the ordinance shall be penalized with a fine of P5,000.
Any processed fish and fishery products found to have been prepared, handled, packed, stored, transported, or offered for sale as human food not in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance shall be confiscated and disposed of accordingly at the expense of the person, firm or corporation found to be violating the same.