The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) in the Philippines foresees stable supply and price of meat and meat by-products this summer season.
NMIS-Cordillera regional director Dr Florencio Pintor said the influx of imported (frozen) meat and meat products is somehow contributing to the steady supply and price.
These, however, are also the usual source of complaints received from local meat producers.
Pintor explained that government, particularly the Department of Agriculture (DA) and NMIS, cannot do anything about the influx of imported products, as it is also the country’s commitment as a member of the World Trade Organizations (WTO).
“All we can do is to regulate and control the handling, processing and selling of meat products, especially the imported ones in which we also need the local government units (LGUs) initiative in such endeavor,” Dr Pintor stressed.
According to Pintor, NMIS is now coordinating with the different LGUs in the region, especially to the provincial veterinary offices, for the monitoring of compliance to recent and related guidelines, rules, and regulations issued by the DA and NMIS.
Recent issuances of NMIS include: Administrative No.24 on Labeling of Meat and Meat Products, AO No. 22 -Rules and Regulations in the Handling of Frozen/Chilled Meat Products in the Meat Markets, AO 21 - Guidelines for The Implementation of Meat Inspection Service by The LGUs – AO 20 Guidelines on Post-Meat Establishment Control and AO 19 - Guidelines on Good Hygienic Slaughtering Practices for Locally Registered Meat Establishments.
Dr Pintor also stressed that there is a need for the LGUs to align their local laws or resolution to the national laws and guidelines for better control and regulation especially on the handling and selling of imported meat products.
DR Pintor praised the city government of Baguio for pushing for a resolution that would regulate slaughtering (of food animals). NMIS is also urging the City Meat Vendors Association and the city veterinarian to ask the city government for clarification regarding a resolution that allows peddling during designated hours and for the resolution not to include the peddling of meat, to further ensure meat cleanliness and safety.
Meanwhile, a recent advisory of DA-NMIS assures the Filipino public that the Philippines do not import any meat and meat products from Japan, therefore the danger of meat here being affected by radiation is unfounded. (PIA CAR).
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