21 May 2021 – Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ratified an ordinance mandating the conduct of a semi-annual training or seminar for all meat vendors and handlers of laws  affecting their business in the Summer Capital.

Authored by councilor Philian Weygan Allan, ordinance no. 53 series of 2021, declares it a city policy to ensure food safety by mandating the activity’s conduct  but shall not take the place of those held  by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) .

The measure designates the Meat Market Monitoring Task Force (MMMTF) through the CVAO as primarily responsible in monitoring the conduct of the  training while the meat vendor and handler associations shall monitor their members in compliance with the ordinance.

It encourages meat vendor associations to hold semi-annual training for a majority of their members,  employees and family members involved in the meat business  where the seminar’s  main purpose is that they be made aware and comply with laws, rules and regulations to avoid penalties.

During the activity, the associations may include inputs from the CVAO, NMIS, Department of Agriculture, Health Services Office, and local laws.

There shall be proper documentation of the training to ensure that there is awareness of all existing  laws, rules and regulations.  A certificate of attendance shall be issued to attendees and presented to appropriate offices for any regulatory requirement.

A report shall be made as a result of the monitoring as far as the main purpose of minimizing violations with related laws, rules and regulations, the measure states.

Actions shall be executed by the MMMTF on those who do not comply with the ordinance and shall recommend for the non-issuance of permits or closure of business.

All meat vendors and handlers may become members of a meat-related association  whether in an old or new organization leading to a shared responsibility during pandemic and post-pandemic situations.

Associations may be organized based on meat categories as meat handler, broker or vendor, chicken or hog dealer, and other classifications and that they be duly registered.  The ordinance does not mandate a specific type of group as this will depend on its members.

The city shall appropriate P250,000 for the first year of implementation to be included in the annual program of CVAO.  Thereafter, it shall be based on the need as decided by meat vendors, CVAO, and MMMTF. – Gaby B. Keith