A member of the city council here wants the full force of the law to fall on a junk shop owner who kept and sold a large inventory of adulterated and expired canned goods when health and police personnel swooped down on the shop shortly after the onslaught of Typhoon “Tisoy”.
In a privilege speech delivered during the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, City Councilor Joe Perez called for a full investigation on the incident and for appropriate charges to be filed against the erring junk shop owner.
He recalled that two children in a village here were reported hospitalized after supposedly eating expired canned food.
According to Perez, a day after Typhoon Tisoy hit Bicol and other parts of South Luzon, a team of sanitation officers and police personnel was dispatched by City Health Officer Vito Borja to a junk shop owned by one Edwin Dazal in Zone 7, Sitio San Rafael, Barangay Cararayan, Naga City.
The confiscating team seized all the canned goods sprawled all over the shop that were found to be unlabeled, expired, rusty and dented, considered unfit for human consumption.
Confiscated were 223 sacks and 191 carton boxes of canned goods, mostly sardines. The haul was more than a mini-truck could carry as the adulterated goods, except for some samples saved to serve as evidence in future filing of necessary case in court. The items were later ordered buried in San Isidro Landfill as a safety measure.
The confiscation was implemented by virtue of a memorandum issued by Mayor Nelson Legacion to the city health officer who was ordered to investigate the source of adulterated canned good that was suspected to be the cause of food poisoning of two minor children last November 25, 2019.
Perez, who is chairman of the Sanggunian Committee on Consumer Protection, disclosed that it took time to implement the actual confiscation because closer investigation and due processes have to be observed. Moreover, everyone at city hall then were preparing for the upcoming typhoon and Dr. Borja needed lead time to mobilize people and vehicles for the surprise raid.
Mayor Legacion said there was “in flagrante delicto of violating the provision of Republic Act No. 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines to cause the immediate confiscation of the subject canned goods”.
Article 10 of the Consumer Act provides that appropriate order for recall, prohibition or seizure from public sale or distribution may be made if a consumer product is found to be injurious, unsafe or dangerous for human consumption.
Perez said there are appropriate legal actions against any violation of the provisions of the Consumer Act, especially those that endanger public health and safety.
He said he would seek the assistance of concerned offices for the filing of the case against the seller of the seized adulterated and contaminated products, as well as redress for the victims of food poisoning.
“A deeper investigation should also be conducted by concerned law enforcement bodies to determine where these illegal supplies came from and how alarming they have gone insofar as the distribution of these injurious canned goods is concerned,” Perez said.
“Certainly, we do not want this [incident] to happen again especially to the poor who takes advantage of the low price for expired but hazardous products,” he added. (PNA)