By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE long-overdue rehabilitation of the Iloilo City Slaughterhouse is on its initial steps after the submission of the master plan to the Department of Agriculture (DA) – National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
DA Assistant Secretary for Regulations and the Visayas Hansel O. Didulo confirmed that NMIS has already received the technical specifications needed for the repair and rehabilitation of slaughterhouse.
“They already submitted it pero pangitaan pa na sang budget kung sa diin hopefully mapasulod naton sa 2019 budget allocation,” Didulo said.
According to Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO) Head Jose Ariel Castañeda, the master plan, which includes the civil, mechanical, and electrical works as well as site development, was submitted on Oct 5, 2018.
“Last Friday ginpadala sang City Engineers ang amended version sang Master Plan which also included the rehabilitation of sewage treatment plan,” Castañeda said.
Based on the master plan, Castañeda said P100 million is needed for the rehabilitation.
Recently, Mayor Jose Espinosa III announced that Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture, has guaranteed the P100-million budget for the repair and rehabilitation of the slaughterhouse.
“Gin-hambal ko na to kay Sen. Villar ang ginapangayo ta nga P100-million for the slaughterhouse and she promised to include the abattoir funds in the next budget hearing,” Espinosa stated.
Despite the lack of accreditation, Castañeda assured that they are doing their best to optimize the operations on the slaughterhouse.
“We are limiting the number of hogs to be slaughtered kay gusto naton ma attender ti insakto.
The operation while it is small scale kay hindi pa kita mechanized is assured na usual inspection are being done by meat inspectors para ma ensure naton na ang meat from slaughterhouse is safe for public consumption,” Castañeda noted.
Until the slaughterhouse is rehabilitated, the NMIS cannot issue its certification standards set, which ensures quality and safe meat sold to consumers.
Based on Executive Order No. 137, the NMIS shall classify and accredit slaughterhouses in accordance with the following:
1) “AAA” certification indicates that meat can be transported and sold in any market, domestic or international.
2) “AA” certification indicates that meat can be transported and sold outside the host locality.
3) “A” certification indicates that meat is suitable for distribution and sale within a city or town where the slaughterhouse is located.