BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the use of skewers or bamboo sticks in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated any business establishment such as but not limited to, carinderias, restaurants, sidewalk stalls or establishments, including the night market food stalls preparing food for public consumption and display, which serve barbequed meat such as beef, chicken, fish or pork or food requiring the use of barbeque sticks or skewers will be required to cut the sharp or remove the barbeque sticks or skewers completely from food before serving these to customers.
Further, any used barbeque stick or skewer shall not be re-used for food safety purposes.
Under the proposed ordinance, violations of the proposed local legislative measure shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 or an imprisonment of one month or both upon the discretion of the court and closure of the business establishment with the cancellation of the issued business permit.
Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instil health consciousness among them.
Moreover, Section 16 further provides that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
Yangot cited that Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 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.
The alderman noted that it is a common practice among those serving barbequed meat, banana cue, camote cue, and the like, to serve these foods with the sharp ends of the sticks intact and if left as is, the sharp ends can cause untoward injury to the consuming public, especially by people who are under the influence of liquor and those provoking trouble.
In order to prevent possible injury to innocent individuals and untoward accidents due to the sharp end of barbeque sticks, Yangot claimed the proposed local legislative measure will contribute in effectively and efficiently solving problems created by the unregulated presence of the skewers in public places.
He called on concerned establishment owners and sidewalk vendors to start voluntarily removing the sharp ends of the bamboo sticks or skewers that they are currently using in their business establishments to make sure that people eating barbequed meat or banana or camote will be safe while eating in their establishments.
The proposed ordinance was referred by the local legislative body to the concerned committee for study and recommendation before the ordinance will be submitted for future readings.
By Dexter A. See