DA chief prompts for Phl modernization, digitalization anew to improve meat safety and quality

Author: DA Communications Group | 18 October 2021

Agriculture Secretary William Dar reminded the need for a technological and digital approach in improving the safety of meat and meat products in the Philippines during the joint celebration of the 49th National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) anniversary and the 28th Meat Safety Consciousness Week on October 18, 2021.

In his keynote speech, the agri chief mentioned that modern technologies and strategies will ensure higher productivity for Filipino farmers and fisherfolk.

Sec. Dar praised the NMIS for its efforts to digitalize its services. He particularly highlighted the ongoing collaboration among the NMIS, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to develop a digital traceability system for meat products.

Following the OneDA Reform Agenda, the secretary shared three key policy objectives for the NMIS over the medium-term: an updated food safety action plan with stronger enforcement, improving the policy environment for food and nutrition security through more rational food policies, and setting laboratories to optimal work to “weed out the bad apples denigrating the harvests of farmers and fishers”.

NMIS Officer-in-Charge and Executive Director Jocelyn Salvador expressed the regulatory agency’s support for the OneDA Reform Agenda.

“Anchoring on the OneDA Reform Agenda on modernization and ease of doing business, we now take advantage of modern technology to conduct not just our training courses, but also to deliver some of our basic functions except the actual meat inspection … We are no longer just confined to conducting meat inspections in traditional meat establishments,” Salvador assured.

As of October 18, the NMIS has established a total of 487 accredited meat establishments, inclusive of slaughterhouses, poultry dressing plants, and cold storage warehouses.

It also has a total of 174 active meat inspectors and veterinarians, and has trained 295 meat inspectors in all of its regional offices. ### (Krystelle Ymari Vergara, DA-AFID)

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