The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating all meat vendors and handlers associations to conduct semi-annual seminars on the various laws affecting their business for the realization of a zero violation target.
City legislators stated that all meat vendors, brokers and handlers operating in the city shall be a member of a meat-related association for shared responsibility of the members during the pandemic and post-pandemic situation.
Further, the meat-related associations may be organized based on meat categories as meat handler, meat broker or vendor, or chicken dealer, hog raiser, hog dealers and other appropriate classification and must be registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) so they can also avail of programs extended by the agency.
However, the ordinance does not mandate a specific type of association or entity as this will depend on the members to decide.
The council tasked the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) and the Meat Market Monitoring Task Force (MMMTF) to continue orienting the vendors on the current regulations governing their operations, but it is also necessary that the meat vendor, broker or handler associations shall also conduct semi-annual trainings to ensure that all members, their employees and family members involved in the meat business, are aware of the existing laws.
According to the council, these seminars shall include inputs from the CVAO, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), Department of Agriculture (DA) and legislations from the city legislative body with the purpose that those involved in the meat business comply with rules and regulations to avoid confiscation and penalties.
The council pointed out that there shall be proper documentation of the trainings to ensure the members are well aware of all rules and regulations governing the operation of their business and that the same is done semi-annual because there are new vendors and meat handlers that are engaged at other times of the year.
The council stipulated that the first training should be before June and that the second training shall be done after July of each year and that evidence to the attendance of the training shall be presented to the appropriate department before a health certificate is issued.
The council claimed the prescribed trainings shall be co-funded by the CVAO and other departments giving trainings where the same shall bear the cost of materials to be given to the trainees and any honoraria and incidental cost spent for the resource persons of the training.
Moreover, the cost of venue, food or other incidental cost of the trainees if any shall be the responsibility of the trainees but for the first year of implementation, the city shall provide for a training fund amounting to P250,000 to augment the cost.
The council designated the MMMTF shall be primarily responsible for the monitoring of the conduct of the semi-annual seminars and that the meat vendor, broker and handler association shall monitor their own members in compliance to the aforesaid measure which is aimed at minimizing confiscation and violation of laws and ordinances.
By Dexter A. See