Development of more Class ‘AA’ abattoirs in Region 12 pushed

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 Aug) – The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) is pushing for the development of more “double-A” or Class “AA” slaughterhouses in partnership with local government units (LGU).

Dr. Myrna Habacon, NMIS-Region 12 director, said they have been coordinating with various municipalities and cities to help upgrade their existing slaughterhouses or abattoirs through its meat establishment improvement program.

Under the program, she said LGUs may avail of the 50-50 financing scheme offered by the agency for the improvement of their slaughterhouses.

A program briefer said NMIS will shoulder 50 percent of approved cost for the upgrading of the facility while LGUs will provide the remaining 50 percent as counterpart. LGUs may avail of small-scale meat establishment grant of P3 million and provide for the lot, access road, water, electricity and maintenance.

Habacon said four localities – Banga and Tampakan town in South Cotabato, Alabel in Sarangani and Mlang in North Cotabato – have already availed of the program.

She said they provided them with technical assistance to make sure that their facilities were constructed according to standards, with the structure and equipment properly harmonized.

The agency is currently following the application of the LGUs for the accreditation of their slaughterhouses into “double-A” facilities, Habacon said.

“The [accreditation] will allow them to market locally produced meat to other areas. So it will mainly expand the distribution areas of local farmers,” she said in a briefing.

Based on their monitoring, Habacon said majority of the LGUs in the region operate and manage slaughterhouses but about 80 percent of them were not accredited with the agency.

She said these facilities were not able to comply with minimum requirement on food safety based on Good Manufacturing Practices.

There are so far only 15 accredited meat establishments in the entire Region 12, mostly operated by private entities, Habacon said.

These comprise six slaughterhouses, five poultry dressing plants, three cold storage warehouses and one meat-cutting facility.

Five of the slaughterhouses were classified as Class “AA” and one – Matutum Meat Packing Corp. in Barangay Glamang, Polomolok, South Cotabato – has “triple-A” or Class “AAA” accreditation.

Two other “triple-A” slaughterhouses are being put up in South Cotabato – one by Biotech Farms Inc. in Barangay San Vicente, Banga town and another by Q-Pigs Livestock Corp. in Barangay Palkan, Polomolok. (MindaNews)