May 20, 2024

The city council 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 task force shall be composed of the city mayor as chairperson 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 Drug 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, 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 is to conduct 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.

It shall 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 impose penalties to violators under Tax Ordinance.

The task force shall also 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 under Ordinance 65, s. 2023.

It shall 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 and enforce measures to violators under Ordinance 69, s. 1991, and national laws, 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 emphasized the necessity of the task force to monitor the proper handling and sale of meat and fishery products in the city market.

Ordinance No. 65, s. 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.

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. – PIO release