SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The mayors of this town and the municipality of Sibalom have committed to upgrade their respective slaughterhouses to Double A status before the end of this year.
Dr. Rafael Marco Ardamil, Antique Provincial Veterinary (PROVET) Public Health Division head, said National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) regional director Fernando Lontoc has secured the commitment of Mayor Elmer Untaran and Sibalom Mayor Gian Carlo Occeña for the upgrading during his Oct. 19 visit.
“As of the current, our slaughterhouses in the province are only classified as Locally Meat Registered Establishments (LMRE),” he said in an interview Wednesday.
Since they are considered as LMRE, then their accreditation is only from the provincial government and not from the NMIS, which is the national government regulatory agency that implements policies on meat inspection and meat hygiene to ensure safety.
Hogs processed at the slaughterhouses are only for local consumption and could not be traded outside of the province.
“The San Jose de Buenavista and Sibalom slaughterhouses upon inspection of Dir. Lontoc were found to be operational, but then it could not sell its slaughtered meet outside of Antique being not accredited by NMIS as Double A yet,” he said.
To upgrade the slaughterhouses to Double A, he said the local government units (LGUs) will have to put up conveyors and other needed equipment to ensure that the slaughtered animal is clean and safe for consumption.
“The NMIS will also provide technical assistance to these LGUs so that they could meet the Double A standard,” he said.
Both slaughterhouses can butcher around 20 to 30 hogs a day.
Ardamil said the Double A slaughterhouse can enable Antique to transport hog meat to Luzon, which currently has cases of African swine fever (ASF).
Hogs sourced from this province are in high demand because Antique is ASF-free and the Christmas season is already fast approaching.
“Traders also complain that they tend to incur losses because of the decrease on the live weight as the hog is being transported,” he said.
Currently, the buying price of the live weight hog has gone up to PHP140 per kilogram from the previously PHP120 per kilogram, Ardamil said. (PNA)