Policy Address | mandatory registration of food-takeout businesses being considered

The Macau SAR government will trial a mandatory registration measure for food take-out businesses, as announced by the Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong during yesterday’s Legislative Assembly (AL) plenary meeting.
When questioned by lawmaker Zheng Anting, who asked about e-governance, Cheong stated that the SAR government is not considering launching a food take-out licensing scheme, as it involves complex matters.
In 2021, the government expects to first mandatorily require food take-out businesses to register with the government. Moreover, through this measure, the authority hopes to regulate the hygiene of food suppliers.
However, the official acknowledged that, in the long term, when there are proper conditions, the government will then consider a licensing system.
Speaking about e-governance, Cheong remarked that the authority plans to strengthen cybersecurity for public departments as well as training those responsible for e-governance matters.
The Secretary also revealed that once the city’s new street market law comes into effect, street market businesses will be required to adopt e-monitor systems, which involves using electronic scales, electronic price boards, e-files and others.
During the meeting, lawmaker Leong Sun Iok asked about phone call marketing tactics. Leong expressed hope that the consumers’ protection law currently under discussion will ban phone call marketing tactics.
Responding to Leong, the Secretary said that Macau has a specific situation due to its small territory, which, in turn, makes it easy for people to avoid regulations or take advantage of grey areas of the law. Under such a situation, phone call marketing groups may use phone numbers from outside of Macau to continue the strategy.
At the current stage, the only way out for the government is to continue strengthening law enforcement.
Moreover, Cheong also provided upgrades on the relocation of the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM)’s laboratory.
Currently, the laboratory is being relocated to the wholesale market building because the government wants to optimize the office’s environment.
According to the official, recently, Macau has been seeing a large demand for nucleic acid tests for cold chain food street market, so the activities are highly dependent on the laboratory’s equipment and facilities.
However, the current office of the laboratory is relatively simple, and he believes that the relocation will help improve the working environment.
During another round of lawmakers’ questioning, Cheong was asked again regarding the civil service, with the Secretary criticizing “some civil servants” and praising the Chief Executive .
The Secretary remarked that some of the civil servants may be used to sitting inside the office and may not make field trips to learn about the practicalities of cases.
In Cheong’s opinion, these civil servants suffer from a “lack of field trip work method and new mentality.”
However, he said, the Chief Executive frequently visits places to learn about the problems they face.

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