Online sellers here of processed meat and other related products are now required to secure permits from the city government and other regulatory agencies.
Dr. Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the City Veterinarian’s Office (CVO), said Thursday the move aims to regulate the selling of processed meat products, especially pork, in the wake of the recent outbreaks of the African swine fever (ASF) in North Cotabato and parts of Davao region.
Marin said the measure is based on Executive Order (EO) No. 40 issued on Aug. 10 by Mayor Ronnel Rivera to enhance the city’s measures against the ASF.
Under the EO, Marin said online meat sellers are required to register with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Food and Drug Administration.
Marin said meat sellers should secure a license as meat vendors from the City Mayor’s Office’s Business Permits and Licensing Division, with an endorsement from the CVO.
As an additional requirement, he said the meat products should be sourced from meat establishments accredited with the National Meat Inspection Service and issued with proper certificates.
“This is to ensure that the meat products are safe and fit for human consumption,” Marin said in an interview.
He said it will guarantee that the products only come from authorized suppliers and not from areas affected by outbreaks of ASF and other diseases.
The official said all pork and pork-related products sourced from other localities and consigned to unlicensed sellers or traders will immediately be confiscated and destroyed upon entry in the city’s border highways, seaport, and airport.
Aside from the confiscation of the products, he said violators will face a fine of PHP3,000 for the first offense and PHP5,000 for the succeeding offenses.
The city government had warned residents against buying meat products from online sellers as some of these might have been sourced from suppliers based in Davao City and other ASF-hit areas.
It cited the case of the ASF outbreak last June in Magpet, North Cotabato, which reportedly originated from contaminated pork chorizo from Davao City that was fed to some hogs.
Marin said the quarantine checkpoints in the city’s border highways remain on high alert against the possible entry of contaminated pork and other related products from Davao Region and North Cotabato.
Since January, he said they already confiscated and destroyed over 3,800 kilos of processed pork and related products coming from the Davao Region.
Source : Philippines News Agency