The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the use of skewers or bamboo sticks in the city.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr., any business establishment such as, but not limited to, carinderias, restaurants, sidewalks stalls or establishments, including the night market food stalls, preparing food for public consumption and display, which serve barbecued meat such as beef, chicken, fish, pork or food requiring the use of barbecue sticks or skewers will be required to cut the sharp end or remove the barbecue sticks or skewers before serving the food to the consumers.
The ordinance disclosed that any used barbecue stick or skewer shall not be re-sued for skewed food to prevent this be used to inflict injury to individuals or accidentally cause untoward incidents posing serious threat to the safety of people.
Any natural person found violating pertinent provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized with a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of one month or both upon the discretion of the court with closure of the business establishment with cancellation of the issued business permit for the third offense.
According to the ordinance, it is a common practice among those serving barbecued meat, banana cue, camote cue and the like, to maintain the sharp end of barbecue sticks or skewers, thus, if left as it is, this sharp end can cause untoward injury to the public.
Yangot underscored that to prevent possible occurrence of an injury or untoward accident due to the sharp end of barbecue sticks or skewers, the proposed ordinance is being advanced for the overall safety of the public patronizing the so-called street foods.
He anchored the proposal on Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.
Further, Section 16 of the same provides that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthy ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
On the other hand, Section 16 of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of the Philippines states that within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the promotion of health and safety.