Unsanitary practices plague public markets

The CITY Health Office reminded public market vendors to thoroughly clean the surrounding canals to avoid flooding and other health hazards this rainy season.

Curtis Lazarraga, sanitary inspector and officer-in-charge of the Environmental Sanitation Division of the City Health Office, said that based on their inspections on the biggest public markets in the city, the lack of discipline contributes to the blocked drainage.

“We reminded vendors and stall owners to clean their drainages because these get clogged by plastic waste, some animal bones and innards,” he said, adding that the trash also attrack flies.

The 36 sanitary inspectors of CHO are actively monitoring other smaller public markets that might have similar problems, he said.

The biggest public markets are located in Bankerohan, Agdao, Toril, Calinan. Foot traffic in these areas go as high as 2,000 to 3,000 every weekend. In Bankerohan, this number even balloons to 3,500 on weekend.

Ceiling damages and defective faucets are also common sightings in the public markets. Odor of human waste is also evident in some parts, while some vegetable displays have cover.

Some meat vendors are also found to have no business permits and health cards. These vendors have been given 15 days to comply with the requirement. He said garbage receptacles should also be provided per stall or vendor.

Lazarraga also reminded owners to clean their surroundings to prevent the ever growing presence of cockroaches and flies, which are considered disease and bacteria vectors. Nearby residents were also told to prevent their pets from roaming the public markets without supervision.

Lazarraga is hoping that the respective market administrators can address these growing health problems. The recommendations of his department will also be forwarded to the city mayor’s economic enterprise, which looks into business establishments like public markets.

Meanwhile, three public markets in key areas of the city were recommended to be closed down because there are already meat shops and groceries catering to basic food requirements of barangays nearby.

“We believe that the concerned agencies of the city government would know best on how to look into the viability of these existing public markets for the years to come,” he said.

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