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FOOD CHAIN DEFIES INSPECTION: P1M WORTH PRODUCTS SEIZED
By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Friday, October 18, 2019
National Meat Inspection Service Regional Director Eduardo Oblena is sealing the freezer were the pork meat, shipped from Manila to Baliwag Lechon Manok Liempo in Casuntingan in Mandaue City, are stored. (Lito Tecson)

An argument ensued between members of the Cebu Provincial Task Force on African Swine Fever and a food chain manager during a raid in Casuntingan, Mandaue City, Friday afternoon.

The task force confiscated more than P1 million worth of liempo, ground pork, chicharon, siopao and chicken meat from Baliwag Lechon Manok at Liempo around 4 p.m. in Barangay Casuntingan.

Dr. Mary Ann Gabona, team leader of the task force’s enforcement unit, said they received a tip around 3:30 p.m. on the presence of tons of pork meat coming from Pasig City that were delivered in the area.

Gabona said Baliwag Lechon Manok at Liempo area manager Ricky Zoleta refused to have the meat products inspected.

“Ni-resist ang manager kay iya pa daw i-coordinate sa ilang office sa Manila (the manager resisted because he said they will have to coordinate with their Manila office). Dili nila ipa open (they refused to open the goods) and instead asked the Mandaue City Veterinarian Office that they will ship it back to Manila,” Gabona added.

Under Executive Order 16 issued by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, all pork, pork-related products, frozen and canned, live hogs and boar semen coming from Luzon are banned from entering Cebu province for 100 days.

Gabona said the manager was able to present a shipping permit but failed to show a meat inspection certificate. “Wala pud sila’y (they did not have) proper inventory,” she said.

She said her team had to call reinforcement from other members of the task force before the manager allowed them to get inside their storage area.

Together with the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the Mandaue City police, the team sealed the storage area and padlocked it.

The CPTFASF will complete the inventory of all the meat products before it will be subject to thermal destruction.  

Gabona said they had to include the chicken meat in the seizure because it was already contaminated.

Baliwag Chicken and Liempo will be facing charges for violation of Executive Order 16 issued by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Provincial Ordinance 2019-08, Mandaue City’s E.O. 29, Republic Act 9296 as amended by RA 10536 otherwise known as the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines, Gabona said.

Earlier in the day, the CPTFASF confiscated two boxes of banned canned goods inside a Chinese convenience store also in Mandaue City.

Gabona said this is the second time that the team confiscated banned canned goods that are sold in a Chinese convenience store.

On Thursday, they seized P26,000 worth of canned goods and sausages from a Chinese convenience store in Lapu-Lapu City. (Vanessa Almeda)

In photo: National Meat Inspection Service Regional Director Eduardo Oblena is sealing the freezer were the pork meat, shipped from Manila to Baliwag Lechon Manok Liempo in Casuntingan in Mandaue City, are stored. (Lito Tecson)