Saturday, May 25, 2013
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan says that the President’s signing of the Republic Act 10536, amending the National Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines, will help deter the selling of double-dead meat in the market.
“We thank the President for signing RA 10536 into law,” says Pangilinan, principal author of the law. “It was our intention to update the National Meat Inspection Code and make relevant its salient features—such as imposing stiffer penalties in order to curb the selling and trading of double-dead meat in the market.”
Under RA 10536, any violator of the act, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day but not more than twelve (12) years or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000), or both, depending upon the discretion of the court.
RA 10536 also provides for some restructuring in terms of the composition of the National Meat Inspection Service, which is the primary agency responsible for ensuring that the meat that lands on families’ tables are certified and are safe for consumption.
If the offender is a public official, the penalty shall include perpetual disqualification from public office.
“Kailangang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng taumbayan laban sa walang pakundangang pagbebenta ng botcha, na nagdudulot ng sakit at kamatayan. Buhay ang nagiging katapat ng kasakiman. Sa pamamagitan ng bagong batas na ito, umaasa tayong may masasampolan na para maparusahan na ang mga sakim at walang-kaluluwang nagbebenta ng botcha.”
Pangilinan also adds that ASEAN integration by 2015 “requires us to ensure quality meat products that are competitive with the global market.”
The ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN region (SPA-FS) aims to: (1) increase food production; (2) reduce post-harvest losses; (3) promote conducive market and trade for agriculture commodities and inputs; (4) ensure food stability; (5) promote availability and accessibility to agricultural inputs; and (6) to operationalize regional food emergency relief arrangements.
Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the need to strictly implement the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act following reports of continued proliferation of various forms of human trafficking involving Filipinos.
Legarda noted that a CNN documentary featured prostitution and cybersex as among the common forms of human trafficking acts in the Philippines, with minors being convinced to engage in such trade as they are promised with good income and a better life.
“The problem of human trafficking continues to hound our society, which is why Congress has acted upon it by creating the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Republic Act 10364),” said Legarda, principal sponsor of the law.
“The stricter provisions of the law should be matched with its effective implementation. Our government agencies should partner with concerned non-government organizations and our police force should undergo continuous training because human traffickers have become more innovative in their actions,” she added.
The new law covers attempted trafficking and accessory or accomplice liability; protection to trafficked victims; and a permanent Secretariat to the country’s anti-trafficking efforts, among others, as well as stronger penalty provisions.
“Human trafficking, and the related problems of the illegal sex trade, forced labor, and other forms of slavery, is a complex web. Battling it requires a concerted effort from all sectors of society. We must also keep in mind that traffickers target the most vulnerable sectors of society and this is the injustice that we must act against,” Legarda concluded.
With days before the June opening of school year, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is urging the employers to allow their household workers to study and secure academic diploma.
Sen. Estrada underscored that domestic workers, including nursemaid or yaya, cook, gardener, laundry person and general househelp, are guaranteed of the right to education and training under the recently-enacted Batas Kasambahay or Republic Act 10361.
Section 9 of Article II (Rights and Privileges) states that the “employer shall afford the domestic worker the opportunity to finish basic education and may allow access to alternative learning systems and as far as practicable, higher education or technical and vocational training.”
Moreover, “the employer shall adjust the work schedule of the domestic worker to allow such access to education or training without hampering the services required by the employer.”
Section 2, Article 4 of the Convention 189 (Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, which the Philippines has already ratified) also provides that “each Member shall take measures to ensure that work performed by domestic workers who are under the age of 18 and above the minimum age of employment does not deprive them of compulsory education, or interfere with opportunities to participate in further education or vocational training.”
Jinggoy appeals to the employers to not deprive kasambahays the opportunity to learn more and finish at least elementary and secondary education to widen their horizon and to uplift their standard of living.
Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, also stressed that the said privilege is even more relevant to working children aged 15 to 17 employed as kasambahay.
“Let us not deprive our kasambahay the opportunity to enrol in schools and acquire new knowledge and skills as a step towards a more productive, high-paying career in the future,” Jinggoy says.
Under the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) issued and published by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) last May 19, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) shall also facilitate access of kasambahay to efficient training, assessment and certification based on training regulations for household services to ensure productivity and assure quality of services.
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