ILOILO City – The city government has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center for three priority undertakings – a modern slaughterhouse, rehabilitation of public markets and a waste-to-energy project.
Mayor Jerry Treñas signed the agreement on behalf of the city government yesterday. The PPP Center was represented by Undersecretary Ferdinand Pecson, executive director of the center.
“We are very excited about this,” said Treñas.
The PPP Center espouses the PPP scheme – a contractual agreement between the government and a private firm targeted towards financing, designing, implementing, and operating infrastructure facilities and services traditionally provided by the public sector.
This scheme, said Treñas, frees a portion of the city government’s budget for social projects beneficial to people.
Pecson agreed. “Hindi dapat natin kalimutan na may mga kababayan tayo na may mga pangangailangan na hindi natin basta maisantabi lang,” he said.
The PPP Center wanted to immediately start working.
“We understand that time is of the essence. We have to move very quickly, show results very quickly. You will see more of us. There’s really a lot of work to be done but with everyone’s support we will succeed,” said Pecson.
Treñas previously disclosed that four parties expressed interest in rehabilitating the city’s slaughterhouse in Barangay Tacas, Jaro district.
“A premier city like us should not have an abattoir where animals are butchered on the floor. We can’t say meat from our slaughterhouse is safe when the facility is incapable of slaughtering animals the right way,” said Treñas.
An orientation-workshop with the PPP Selection Committee and Technical Working Group is slated on Aug. 22-23.
“We need to enter into PPP because it will sustain income and revenues for the city government,” said Treñas.
The PPP Center will also look into the rehabilitation and upgrading of public markets particularly bundling of big and small ones.
Improving the slaughterhouse is one of Treñas’ priorities. He, however, did not name the four interested parties.
Representatives from the PPP Center will be inspecting the slaughterhouse, which has failed to get any rating or classification – A, AA or AAA – from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), a specialized regulatory agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that is the country’s sole controlling authority on all matters pertaining to meat inspection and hygiene.
Meat from an unrated slaughterhouse may have adverse effects on the local economy, warned DA assistant secretary for Visayas Hansel Didulo in a previous interview.
An A classification means meat from the slaughterhouse can be transported within the city only while an AA classification means the meat can be transported outside the city.
An AAA classification, on the other hand, means the meat from the slaughterhouse is safe enough to be shipped abroad.
The slaughterhouse was constructed and became operational in the later part of 2007 when Treñas was mayor. It deteriorated through the years./PN