THE Cagayan de Oro City Government has set standards for the operation of tattoo studios in the city.

This after the City Council passed on Monday, January 14, the ordinance regulating tattooing and body piercing and the operation of tattoo studios in an aim "to protect and promote the right to health of the people".

“This is to ensure the safety of the people against health risks and all possible complication that may arise in receiving a tattoo,” the ordinance stated.

Every tattoo parlor shall get all the necessary licenses including a permit from the City Health Office (CHO) which can only be obtained if CHO personnel conduct an inspection of the tattoo parlor.

Under the ordinance, the work surface of a tattoo parlor shall be cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant, and shall maintain adequate ventilation and hand-cleaning facilities.

The tattooer shall wear clean outer garments, maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness, and conform to hygienic practices while on duty.

Tattooers shall also use standard precautions while tattooing, for instance, if a tattooer is diagnosed with a communicable disease, he shall provide a letter to the City Health Office that his condition no longer poses a threat to public health.

Each tattooer is required to have the education, training and experience to practice techniques and prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

The ordinance also prohibits any person to perform tattoo work whose age is below 15 years old, those who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, pregnant women, among others.

Violations of this provision can face imprisonment of not less than 1 month or a fine of at least P5,000.

The CHO will also conduct periodic inspections of every tattoo parlor in the city to check their compliance of the ordinance.

John Nangkil, a tattoo artist, lauded the city for the new regulation saying this will educate aspiring tattoo artists about the risks of the job.

"I understand that they only want to protect the public. For me, I always see to it that I can attend seminars sponsored by the Department of Health on blood borne and cross contamination because it will be more expensive if one of our client dies," he said.

He, However, also called on the city not to be hard on the tattoo artists and instead help them be educated before starting their tattoo business.