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Mayor welcomes private investor for new slaughterhouse

CEBU, Philippines -Mayor Michael Rama welcomed the offer of a private investor to construct a modern slaughterhouse for Cebu City on a build-and-transfer (BT) scheme as reported by Cebu City Abattoir head Alice Utlang.

 Utlang said she got an offer from Francis Celones, the president of FNC Food and Beverages Machinery Technology and Services based in Quezon City, for the construction of a new abattoir at the North Reclamation Area.

 According to Utlang, the documents were submitted to City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete for further review and recommendation before these go to the City Council for approval.

 Celones is an equipment manufacturer accredited by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). The NMIS is a government entity under the Department of Agriculture tasked to accredit slaughterhouses under three categories.

Poblete said that because of the complexities of the BT proposal and the legal requisites, he is thinking to refer it first to a committee for a thorough study.

 Build-and-Transfer scheme is a contractual arrangement wherein the project proponent finances the construction of a given infrastructure or development facility and after its completion turns it over to the government agency or local government unit concerned.

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The government shall then pay the proponent based on the agreed schedule its total expenses on the project, plus a reasonable rate of interest.

 The Commission on Audit (COA) said this arrangement may be employed in the construction of any infrastructure or development project.

 The City Council approved only P15 million for the construction of a new abattoir building but Utlang said the budget does not include the needed equipment.

 The city’s abattoir at the North Reclamation Area was recognized as the most modern slaughterhouse in Central Visayas in the early 1980’s but at present, it is not even accredited by the NMIS.

A recent study conducted by the NMIS showed that most of the existing slaughterhouses producing the domestic meat supply are more than 25 years old and do not meet minimum requirements for hygiene.

During the whole year of 2011, a total of 80,289 hogs were slaughtered at the existing city abattoir. (FREEMAN)

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