DAVAO CITY – Following the case of 16 students and a mother who were hospitalized due to suspected food poisoning last June 19, council committee chair on health Mary Joselle Villafuerte wants to widen the scope of the pending Food Safety Ordinance here.
The proposed ordinance which was authored by Councilor Bernard Al-ag, covers the regulation of the selling of street food here in the city and to assure the public that street food are safe.
“I think we need to widen the scope because this is not the only incident that involves food poisoning. About three weeks ago, there was a food poisoning incident which involved a caterer,” Villafuerte said.
She said they want to widen the said ordinance to include not just the street vendors, but also the caterers.
Meanwhile, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act 10611 also known as the Food Safety Act of 2013 was released last February this year.
“According to section 15 of the Republic Act, it is the responsibility of the Local Government Units (LGUs) to monitor our markets, our supermarkets, our food vendors, our caterers,” Villafuerte said.
With this, the committee on health will try to broaden the scope of the pending Food Safety Ordinance to include all food businesses.
“The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) already launched a monitoring team. The Department of Health (DOH) also have a monitoring team as well as the City Health Office (CHO),” she said.
“I think if we work together, if multi-agency task force will work on this, then I believe we can do this,” she added.
Villafuerte said they “don’t want to stop them (vendors) from having a source of income, but we want to make the food that is taken by our children and our fellow Davaoeños to be safe.”
She said that they will work with the vendors and business owners and will train and assist them.
Villafuerte also calls on vendors and business owners not to use expired products which will cause food poisoning. “We ask them to be more careful if they will be going to use powdered substances and make sure they are not expired,” she said. (davaotoday.com)