Of Kalibo Slaughterhouse
by Ernesto T. Solidum
Kalibo’s slaughterhouse in Tinigao, despite its prominence as the biggest facility in Aklan province has not come up to modern standard in terms of health, sanitation and safety. Established in 1990 or 24 years ago, it lacks the basic requirements of running water, sediment ponds for solid and liquid wastes, large hot water baths, stainless work tables, proper equipment and competent personel.
Mr. Abel Policarpio, OIC Manager revealed that 120 heads of hogs and 10 large cattles are butchered daily. Operation starts very early at 2:00 o’clock dawn and ends towards noon. Since there is no work table, carcasses are laid bare on the concrete floor where cleaning, trimming and eviscerating take place. A standby generator provides illumination during occasional brownouts, otherwise improvised lamps are used.
“We collect P.30/Kgm. as slaughterhouse fee for hogs and P.50/Kgm. for large cattle,” said Mr. Policarpio. Roughly, the average dressed beef is 2,100 kgms. while pork is 7,680 kgms.
Due to the large animal shipments, traders make distinctive marks by clipping hair on backs of their livestock for easy identification. About one half of the animal stock comes from Iloilo and the rest from Mindoro. It is ironic that there is no more animal supplier from Aklan, though occasional stock comes from backyard raisers.
Mayor William S. Lachica admits that the Municipal Slaughterhouse is operating at substandard condition. Because of this deficiency, one leading mall in Kalibo does not patronize meat coming from Kalibo facility. The double A rating given by the National Meat Inspection Board must be elevated to triple A status. “In order to realize our objective, we plan to lease the facility to a private corporation who will invest in its modernization,” said Mayor Lachica.
Once in place, a complex and bigger structure will be built to accommodate a factory style slaughtering plant. Mayor Lachica said that process will start by resting animals in cool and clean quarter for a day.
Afterwards animals will pass an elevated area, and later doused with pressurized cold water to remove dirt and afterwards stunned by electric gun. Blood is promptly removed and the carcass plunges into a scalding water bath.
A conveyor lifts the carcass to a hair removal area and later doused with cold water. The next station is surgical area where all innards are removed and separated.
The job of transporting the meat to the public market and or delivery to big wholesalers will be done through closed delivery vans. We need to insure that our meat offered for sale is of the best quality and hygienic standard. It would be standard requirement that employees connected with the slaughterhouse and delivery wear uniform as part of professional services, said Mayor Lachica.
Presently, there are two Meat Inspectors assigned with the task of certifying animal health condition and stamping inspection seal to meat and pork cuts. This is vital since meat products from Kalibo Slaughterhouse go to other areas like Numancia, Boracay, Makato, and Ibajay. Diseases like anthrax, bovine TB and hog cholera are transmissible to man.
Mayor Lachica in his official trip to Laguna, Tagaytay and Batangas has observed first hand the economic and health benefits of Triple A abattoirs to their constituents. He has consulted members of the Sangguniang Bayan about modernizing the Kalibo Slaughterhouse to insure efficient and effective delivery of sanitary meat products. /MP