Senate raises penalties for the sale of 'botcha'-A A +A
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
SENATORS approved Monday on third and final reading a bill seeking to ensure that meat and meat products are properly prepared and handled by slapping heavier penalties on the sale, transport and handling of double dead meat or the so-called "botcha."
"We need to modernize our agriculture and food laws to help protect the agriculture and the livestock industry sectors. In doing so, we will also protect the interests and safety of the buying public, the consumers who are at the end of the agricultural supply chain," said Senator Francis Pangilinan, sponsor of Senate Bill 3388 that introduced amendments to the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines.
Earlier, the Senate also passed Senate Bill 2746, which aims to eliminate the sale and transportation of "botcha" by requiring all meat and meat products to bear a label indicating its place of origin.
Under the bill, carcass or parts of carcass of food animals, which were slaughtered from unregistered/unaccredited meat establishments and have not undergone the required inspection, will be classified as "hot meat."
Also in this category are undocumented, illegally shipped and unregistered carcass and meat products from other countries.
Pangilinan warned that violators of the act may face six months to 12 years imprisonment or a fine of P100,000 to P1 million, or both depending upon the discretion of the court.
If the offender is a corporation, association or partnerships, all of its officers will be criminally liable and their certificates of accreditation and registration will be cancelled.
Public officials who violate the law will face perpetual disqualification to hold public office while foreigners found guilty of the offense will be immediately deported after service of sentence. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)