MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has highlighted the importance of incorporating technological and digital approaches in improving the safety of meat and meat products.
Modern technologies and strategies will ensure higher productivity of Filipino farmers and fisherfolk, according to Secretary William Dar during his speech at the joint celebration of the 49th National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) anniversary and the 28th Meat Safety Consciousness Week on Monday.
He also lauded the NMIS for its efforts to digitalize services.
Dar particularly cited the ongoing collaboration among the NMIS, Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, University of the Philippines Los Baños, and the Bureau of Animal Industry to develop a digital traceability system for meat products.
Following the OneDA Reform Agenda, Dar shared three key policy objectives for the NMIS over the medium-term: updated food safety action plan with stronger enforcement, improving the policy environment for food and nutrition security through more rational food policies, and setting up 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 is proud that her office is no longer just confined to conducting meat inspections.
“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,” Salvador said during the same event.
To date, the NMIS has established 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 regional offices.
(This article, written by Christine Cudis, was first published in the PNA Website on October 18, 2021)