NMIS-NCR seeks public support on drive vs. 'bocha'

October 20, 2011 9:56 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 20 – The National Meat Inspection Service-National Capital Region (NMIS-NCR) is accommodating from the public reports on existence of "bocha" or double-dead meat in the area to help the agency better address this continuing problem.

"People can report by calling up our hotlines 927-40-50 and 927-26-58," NMIS-NCR Director Eduardo Oblena said Thursday during the "Talking Points" program of state-run radio station DZRB Radyo ng Bayan.

He also said that people can directly contact him at mobile number 0908-743-81-10 to report what they know about the existence of the contraband meat.

Authorities already warned against eating "bocha," noting that doing so is dangerous to health.

Oblena urged consumers to look for NMIS' certification of meat inspection to ensure that the meat they are buying is clean and safe.

"Consumers can demand to see the document on this," he said.

He noted such document must be displayed in plain view for easy reference.

"Buyers must also check that such certification isn't recycled or tampered with," he added.

Each delivery of duly-inspected meat is covered by a certification, he said.

"Also look for the NMIS stamp on meat you're buying," he advised customers.

This month, reports surfaced that authorities seized in Quezon City another batch of hot meat and arrested people suspected of selling the contraband.

They confiscated the hot meat weighing some 750 kilos during their raid in Balintawak Market, the reports noted.

Oblena noted that "bocha" traders continue plying hot meat since their financial gain from such activity far exceeds the existing penalty they must pay for doing so.

"They're fined P1,000 to P10,000 only at present but there's a proposal to increase this up to P500,000 already," he said.

He said authorities concerned already held public consultations on the proposal.

To help better curb production and spread of hot meat, NMIS earlier established an anti-'bocha' task force.

"We also have our own group in NCR," Oblena said.

He advised micro and small meat processors to source meat from NMIS-accredited establishments.

This will ensure meat for their products is free from disease, he noted.

"As long as meat is from such establishments, their raw materials are safe to use," he said. (PNA)

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