Just less than two weeks before families sit down to noche buena or the Christmas Eve feast, the Malabon government has tightened its watch against botcha or “hot” meat to prevent it from being sold in the city.
Mayor Antolin Oreta III has ordered the city police, members of the Mayor’s Complaints and Action Team and the city health office to be always on the lookout for traders selling meat unfit for human consumption in public markets and tiangge (flea markets).
At the same time, he directed the local agency running the city public market to coordinate with authorities for the seizure of botcha and the arrest of unscrupulous vendors caught selling it.
Oreta explained that with the holiday season in full swing, people would be looking for bargains but they could end up unknowingly buying botcha or meat taken from dead or slaughtered diseased animals.
“As Christmas and New Year get closer, people will buy meat sold at low prices, not knowing that these are already unfit for human consumption,” he said in a statement.
“We don’t want people getting sick because of botcha. We have to ban botcha traders in the city and we will file charges against those who are caught selling their ‘double-dead’ meat here in Malabon,” he added.
Oreta also urged barangay leaders and even ordinary citizens to report traders selling botcha in their communities.
He made the statement after local authorities seized 40 kilos of spoiled meat from a dealer in Barangay Catmon, Malabon, over the weekend.
The Malabon police have already filed charges of violation of the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines against the trader.
Should he be found guilty, he could be jailed for two to six months and fined between P1,000 to P10,000.
Dr. Rommel Lizan, head of the Malabon City Health Office, said in the same statement that eating spoiled meat could make one feel dizzy and lead to diarrhea. He added that it could also result in poisoning or worse, death.