DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned erring milk tea shops that he would padlock their establishments if they continue to deceive the public, particularly on the shelf life of their products.
“The next time guys you’re out. I will not only name (you) – I will close the store,” Duterte said, as he directed the City Health Office here to name the milk tea shops that were found using expired concoction items during last week’s inspection of the city government’s sanitation inspectors.
“If I can help it, I would avoid naming the enterprise because… somehow it would affect the business reputation of that store,” Duterte said during his Sunday television program “Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa.
While he wanted not naming the stores, Duterte said it would be fair if the City Health Officer name the two erring milk tea shops in order for others not to be suspected.
The mayor pointed out two sanctions that erring traders could face for deluding to buy something fresh when it is not. There is also the danger of food poisoning which a trader can be charged for negligence if not outright with criminal intent.
“It really depends on recommendation of the city heath,” said Duterte, who has yet to get hold of the CHO’s report.
Duterte’s warning came following the raid conducted by CHO’s Environment Sanitation Division resulting in the seizure of 22 packs of expired milk tea powder and boxes of fruit preserves from milk tea shops operating in two shopping malls.
CHO went the rounds of milk tea stores in the city after an incident in Manila where two people died instantly after tasting the milk tea concoction at Ergo Milk Tea shop in Sampaloc, Manila City.
Dr. Evelyno Buenaventura of the CHO said their inspection remains ongoing. He even urged the public to carefully check milk tea products especially the expiry dates.
CHO warned milk tea shop owners during a meeting Saturday about expired ingredients.
The CHO however did not name the two erring shops drawing the flak from other owners of milk tea stores .
Cathy Binag, the owner of Madhatter milk tea shop, said the refusal of the CHO to divulge the identities of the perfidious milk tea stores affected their business.
“This is a form of injustice. Madhatter and the other milk tea stores that are doing business with honesty do not deserve to be punished for the mistakes and cunning activities of others,” she said in a press statement.
Binag said she lauded the CHO’s efforts as a way to keep the milk tea sector in check but emphasized that it was necessary to point the irresponsibility on the part of CHO for its refusal to disclose the names of the erring milk tea shops.
“Why Madhatter thinks the disclosure is important is because it — without question — paints a bad image of all milk tea stores in Davao. Unless the names of the erring milk tea shops are made public, it will create confusion among the public and foments discrimination against those who are doing business with integrity and dedication to giving quality service and products to the public,” she pointed out.