Press Release
May 24, 2013

Villar hails signing of tougher law vs botcha

Sen. Manny Villar today hailed the signing of law strengthening regulation against the selling and transport of double dead meat or botcha.

President Aquino signed Republic Act 10536 or the amended Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines last May 15. It imposes the penalty of imprisonment of six to 12 years and fine of P100,000 to P1 million against persons engaged in the trade of botcha.

"Despite aggressive market raids conducted by the National Meat Inspection Service, local officials and the police, those arrested are able to elude criminal liability because the penalties are weak. With tougher penalties, we will be able to curb botcha trade," Villar said.

Villar recalled that during the hearings held by the Committee on Trade and Commerce, it was revealed that some meat traders have become creative so they may pass off botcha as freshly slaughtered meat and caused people to get sick.

"The president should be commended for making this a priority. Botcha trade has been going on for a while despite public warnings," he added.

President Aquino also signed RA 10557 or the Philippine Design Competitiveness Act. In welcoming its enactment, Villar said this will "uplift the state of our Philippine design industry by establishing a design-led economy where we may generate jobs for the people."

Villar and Sen. Teofisto Guingona III authored the bill in the Senate.

He noted that despite the abundance of creative talents in the country, the Philippines is trailing behind Asian neighbors. He said homegrown talents are being pirated by other countries such as China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Further, he cited the likes of Kenneth Cobonpue, a known furniture-maker based in Cebu, whose creations are featured in foreign films and the success of jewelry artisan Bea Valdes and bag designer Maristela Ocampo and Amina Aranaz.

"It is time to put in place the enabling environment that will allow the various sectors of the design industry to increase productivity, enhance visibility in the global market, boost competitiveness and improve the level of innovation of our creative people," Villar said.

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