The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance creating the meat and fishery products monitoring task force and defining its functions.
Under the proposed measure authored by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan, Jr., The said task force shall be composed of the City Mayor as chairperson, and to be co-chaired by the chairperson of the Committee on market, Trade, Commerce and Agriculture with the City Veterinarian as action officer. The members of the task force are the representatives of the National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Food and Drugs Administration, City Health Services Office, Market Superintendent of the City Treasury Office, head of the Permits and Licensing Division, chief of the Public Order and Safety Division, City Director of the Baguio city Police Office and barangays with jurisdiction of the area/site to be inspected.
Among the duties and responsibilities of the task force include the conduct of monthly inspection or whatever is necessary upon the discretion of any of the members of the task force of all meat and fish establishments in the city; confiscate meat products, whether newly slaughtered, frozen or chilled that are contaminated, adulterated, not properly displayed in freezers, chillers, and refrigerators and those being sold not in accordance with laws, rules and regulations and imposed penalties to violators under Tax Ordinance No. 2012-01; confiscate fishery products whether fresh, chilled, frozen or processed that are mislabeled, contaminated, adulterated, not properly displayed in freezers, chillers and refrigerators and those being sold not in accordance with laws, rules and regulations and impose penalties to violators under Ordinance No. 65, series of 2023; sanction meat dealers and fish vendors using color enhancing lights, mats, and other materials as a means to deceive consumers as to the freshness of meat and fish; confiscate dog and cat meat in the city market and restaurants offering it for commercial purposes and enforce measures to violators under Ordinance No. 69, series of 1991, Republic Act (RA) 8485 as amended by RA 10631 and RA 9482; formulate policies and strategies relative to the sale of meat and fishery products in the city and revoke business permit to operate and closure of establishments violating the measure.
The ordinance underscored that the passage of the proposed measure is necessary for the creation of a task force to monitor the proper handling and sale of meat and fishery products in the city market.
Ordinance No. 65, series of 2023 promulgated the rules and regulations governing the entry, handling, and sale of fresh, frozen and processed fish and other fishery products in the city.
The law provides that newly slaughtered meat shall not be mixed or inter-mingled with chilled or thawed meat.
Further, the law specifies that all meat and fish products shall be hygienically handled throughout distribution and sale and every effort shall be taken to prevent contamination at all times.