Dads approve “Market Amnesty” ordinance
The city council approved Ordinance 86, s. 2021 or the “Market Amnesty Program in the City of Baguio,” which grants a three-month amnesty for violations of pertinent provisions of Tax Ordinance 2000-001 or the Market Code.
The program aims to give a leeway for registered leaseholders of city-owned stalls/booths in the city public market, satellite markets, and at the Slaughterhouse Compound who transgressed or failed to comply with any provision of the Market Code, particularly those in sections 157, 158, 159, 160, and 161.
Section 157 provides the leaseholder must not sell, lease, transfer, or otherwise encumber his/her privilege over the stall or permit another person to conduct business therein.
Section 160 requires that leaseholders must physically and personally conduct business in their stalls subject of the lease while section 161 prohibits sub-leasing or use of dummies.
The ordinance stated despite the strict provisions that violations are grounds for the cancellation of the contract of lease with the city government, investigations showed numerous actual occupants of stalls at the city public market, satellite markets, and at the Slaughterhouse Compound are renting or leasing from the registered leaseholders.
Other reasons are death of the leaseholder or by virtue of transfer by sale, mortgage, or waiver.
After the amnesty period, all violations will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Market Code.
The amnesty will take effect upon the approval of the implementing rules and regulations to be prepared by the City Mayor’s Office.
In Ordinance 87, s. 2021, the body approved the standard requirements for meat and poultry shops operating in the city public market, satellite markets, retail stores and supermarkets, and other vending modalities including those in the barangays.
The measure complies with Republic Act 9296 or the Meat Inspection Code, RA 7394 or the Consumer Act, RA 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013, and administrative orders of the Department of Agriculture “for proper sanitary, hygienic handling, and selling of meat and meat products in the markets, slaughterhouse, and other places where meat is handled.”
Under the ordinance, the locations for meat and poultry shops must be on allowed zones; at least 50 meters away from schools, religious institutions, public offices, funeral establishments, and other public gathering spaces; easily accessible; and with available water and power services.
For shop’s plan and design: The minimum area must comply with the dimension recommended by the City Planning and Development Office; floors and walls must be constructed of impervious materials that are easily cleaned and disinfected; all floors must be kept clean and dry at all times; partitions must not extend up to the ceiling for air circulation; separate display areas and tables for meat, poultry, and entrails made of stainless steel with adequate table drains made entirely open underneath without drawers and must be kept smooth and clean; minimum area of 0.74 square meter open space must be provided per customer; and ceilings must be light-colored and free of ledges.
For lighting requirements: All areas, aisles, and passageways must be well lit and be provided with a 20 foot-candle (215.2 lux) or 6,000 Kelvin intensity of illumination; light bulbs and fixtures must comply with the Consumer Act and Ordinance 71, s. 2009, which prohibit colored lights or other materials that will alter the color of the product in display areas.
For sanitation: All sections of the shop, the equipment, cutting areas, and the display areas must be in good sanitary condition; sufficient supply of potable water in the shop; sewage must be disposed to a public sewerage system or in a manner complying with the Sanitation Code; sewer line from toilets and urinals must not be connected with drainage line; floor drains and grease traps must be provided; proper drainage system must be installed and maintained; adequate and sanitary handwashing facilities; insect and rodent-free without signs of harborage or breeding; and pets shall not be allowed in the stall. The appropriate sanitary and environmental ordinances must apply to stores in the barangays.
On solid waste management: Shops must have at least two labeled refuse receptacles for biodegradable and non-biodegradable with tight covers and maintained as to be vermin-proof and easily cleaned per the Environment Code of the City of Baguio.
On food handling and packaging: Meat must be in a hanging position to allow air circulation, hygienically handled throughout distribution and sale, and due care must be observed to prevent from falling; cutting tools, chopping board, and sharpener must at all times be maintained in good sanitary condition; clean tongs or similar tools must be available to meat handlers and consumers to minimize contamination; pre-cutting and pre-packaging of products must be done in a designated area and must maintain the required product temperature; display area must be kept orderly and free of clutter or boxes of meat; no mixing or intermingling of different types of meat; chilled meat must not be frozen and maintained at a minimum temperature higher than 0˚C and a maximum of 10˚C; chilled products must be displayed whole or cut and/or pre-packaged in refrigerated display chillers and/or insulated chest coolers with ice or gel packs, and other similar devices for chilling product; chilled meat or poultry can be displayed either packed or unpacked over a bed of potable ice; and refrigerated and frozen meat may be kept in the freezers and chillers and taken out only after it is ordered or brought through a menu type photo display; processed meat must be handled in accordance with the Food and Safety Act.
Personal belongings such as clothes, footwear, blankets, tobacco, and other forms of contaminants must also not be stored in the shops to protect customers and food business operators.
Violators will be penalized on first offense with a fine of P1,000; P3,000 with warning on second offense; and P5,000 and closure of establishment on third offense.