The Department of Agriculture recognized the important role the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) plays in ensuring the (health and) safety and quality of meat products and also in safeguarding the trade of livestock products as the nation celebrates Meat Safety Consciousness Week.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the NMIS will continue in tirelessly performing its regulatory function and will not stop in treading the straight path mandated by President Aquino.

"Kung walang batas o malabo ang batas, mahirap magpatupad.  At kung may batas na hindi po matuwid ang pagpapatupad, hindi din po igagalang ng mga dapat sumunod sa batas," Alcala said.

He added, the implementing rules and regulations of the Food Safety Law is scheduled to be signed next week.

According to the Secretary, he has signed several guidelines, like the one on good hygienic slaughtering practices, and the creation of municipal and city meat inspection services to be institutionalized by LGUs to eradicate meat safety problems.

The guidelines on meat market surveillance system is equally important since this ensures that meat in markets are compliant with safety standards, he added.

"Anuman ang mangyari sa mga guidelines na ito, we shall conduct a performance evaluation para malaman natin ang impact nito sa publiko at pagasasasgawa ng ating mandato," Alcala said.

He added, the Philippines has 382 licensed meat (inspection) establishments and 55 double A slaughterhouses that are still under construction nationwide, 34 of them are funded by the NMIS Meat Establishment Improvement Program and 21 are funded by the DA National Livestock Program.

According to the Secretary, the DA also has an ongoing (Triple) AAA poultry dressing plant project in  Tarlac, which aims to service poultry raisers in Central Luzon.

A (Triple) AAA slaughterhouse project is  about to be initiated in Tanauan, Batangas for the benefit of livestock producers in Southern Luzon (sa Timog Katagalugan), he added.  

"Dapat pong matapos agad ang mga ito para maserbisyuhan ang mga producers at consumers sa atin pong pamayanan," the Secretary said.