BAGUIO CITY – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing the regulatory mechanisms for the sale and use of iron fortified rice in all stores and food establishments in the city.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda, it is a declared policy of the city government to protect and promote the health of its constituency, to establish effective food regulatory mechanisms to ensure the proper nutrition is provided to all.
For this purpose, the city government shall provide mechanisms for the sale and use of iron-fortified rice in the different establishments around the city.
The ordinance directs all offices under the local government and the national government agencies in the city to s use and serve only iron-fortified rice for their social programs and facilities such as, but not limited to, feeding programs, disaster relief operations, child development centers, government-owned hospitals, public school and public hospital canteens, rehabilitation centers and meetings and conferences.
The ordinance mandated all stores and food service establishments in the city to sell iron-fortified rice. Properly labelled containers for iron-fortified rice shall be placed along with the other regular rice to give consumers the free choice.
Moreover, food establishments area also required to serve and include iron-fortified rice in their regular menu.
The ordinance tasked the barangay health workers, sanitary inspectors, Market Superintendent, City Social Welfare and Development Officer and focal persons designated by the government agencies conducting the meetings and conferences to monitor the implementation of the pertinent provisions of the measure in sari-sari stores, food outlets, groceries, restaurants, schools and hospital canteens, public market and city-owned satellite markets, child development centers, feeding programs, disaster relief operations, rehabilitation centers, other social program activities, respectively.
The city government shall provide positive reinforcement by giving awards and incentives to the stores and food service establishments with the Baguio City Investment Board to be mandated to establish a mechanism for the awards and incentives as provided under the Baguio City Investments and Incentives Code.
Any government official or employee found guilty of violating the pertinent provisions of the proposed ordinance shall be penalized without prejudice to the appropriate administrative sanctions pursuant with the civil serviced law and other related laws, rules and regulations.
Any person, natural or juridical, found guilty of the ordinance shall be penalized with a warning for the first offense, the imposition of an administrative fine of P1,000 for the second offense and a fine of P3,000 for the third offense.