Transfer of jurisdiction over processed meat still in limbo
The Office of the President has not made any decision on the proposed transfer of jurisdiction over processed meat from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) almost a year since it was brought to its table.
It was in September last year when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) NMIS to transfer its jurisdiction over meat products to FDA, which operates under the Department of Health (DOH).
But DA and DOH later on agreed that such decision could not work, agreeing to draft an Executive Order (EO)— to be signed by Duterte— that will temporary hold in abeyance the implementation of the President’s order.
“Prior to the Republic Act (RA) 10611 or Food Safety Act of 013, the DA-NMIS is the sole national competent authority tasked to implement policies, programs, guidelines, rules and regulations over meat and meat products,” the joint circular drafted by DA and DOH reads.
Philippine Association Of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) Vice President Jerome Ong said the meat industry has since been struggling since the jurisdiction over processed meats has been transferred from the DA-NMIS to the DOH-FDA.
“Despite the joint agreement by the Secretaries of Health and Agriculture, the Office of the President has not commented on their recommendation. The fact remains today that the two departments have separate jurisdiction over our business interest in different phases or stages of our business models,” Ong, who also serves as the president of meat processing giant CDO Foodsphere Inc., said.
“Our business sector is now reporting to two cabinet departments, in effect doubling our costs for compliance,” he added.