Bangus sold at the Dagupan public market are deboned in a hygienic area.
EVA VISPERAS
Dagupan makes strides in bangus deboning
IDAING MO KAY VANEZZA - Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2017 - 12:00am

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – This city, known as the Bangus Capital of the Philippines, strives to make its famous bangus (milkfish) one of the best and the most hygienically prepared in the country.

A section of Malimgas public market was renovated to conform with the standards set by Republic Act 10611 or the Food Safety Act.

The City Agriculture Office headed by Emma Molina provides technical guidance and supervision of the new deboning area that is more hygienic and equipped with smoking apparatus and blast-sealing machine for making tinapang bangus. This maintains the freshness of the bangus while in transit.

“Food safety is best observed. We have standard sanitary procedures. If we can comply with that, we’ll be proud of the product we give to the market,” Molina told The Star.

Those engaged in bangus trading and deboning, were required to systematize their practices. We did a master list of stall owners, asked the names of their deboners and then we talked to them,” she said.

Molina said all bangus, sourced from Dagupan fishponds or nearby towns would have to be processed in the area.

Those who do it in their home have to pass the required product standards, she added.

Molina said this has been a dream of Mayor Belen Fernandez to make quality bangus so sellers can command a better price.

Deboners were trained so they can also be certified.

The city will charge 50 centavos per piece of bangus from fish producers and businessmen using the facility.

Other services that can be availed of in the facility are a smoke machine for tinapang bangus, and blast sealing or marinating.

“In the long run, we hope to see all our bangus concessionaires in the city use the facility so we can assure our consumers that what they buy from our market is clean and fit for consumption without sacrificing their health,” Molina said.

“Now we can monitor closely and once we perfect the process, fish will be labeled,” Molina said.

There are currently 60 deboners with blue cards working here.

“Now we are creating an impression that our deboned bangus is clean,” she said.

“The next target is interactive tourism for bangus deboning,” Molina added.

Kimberly Aquino of Brgy. Balogo, Pangasinan, has been deboning bangus for the past four years. She can debone 300 pieces of bangus daily.

Irma Purugunan,  also from Brgy. Balogo, said bangus deboning has been her source of income since she was 11 years old. Puruganan is now 34 years old.

She is thankful to the city government, saying “the biggest difference now is the smell here has improved.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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