WITH an estimated P7.2 billion worth of rice wastage, former health secretary and now House Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin recently filed a bill that mandates restaurants, canteens, eateries, and food establishments to provide a half-cup rice serving option.
Garin has filed House Bill 9536, mandating restaurants, canteens, eateries, and food establishments to make half-cup rice serving options available.
Dubbed the “Rice Waste Reduction Act of 2023,” the bill is geared towards curbing rice wastage, aligning with broader sustainability goals.
Garin said her bill aims to minimize food waste, encourage balanced and sustainable eating habits, and promote healthier meal portions.
“By implementing this measure, the legislation envisions a future where individuals are more conscious of their food choices, establishments prioritize responsible serving practices, and society as a whole benefits from a more sustainable and balanced approach to food consumption,” Garin said.
Establishments found in violation of the law could face penalties, starting at P10,000 for the first offense, P20,000 for the second offense, and P30,000 for subsequent offenses.
The Iloilo lawmaker urged her colleagues to support the legislation and have it immediately implemented.
“I hope my fellow lawmakers will back this legislation. A significant amount of rice goes to waste, which could otherwise benefit more people. It’s time to enact this and reduce rice wastage,” Garin said.
Citing data from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the country incurs an estimated P7.2 billion worth of rice wastage, based on 2015 calculations. Notably, 46 cities, including Quezon City, Manila, Davao, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Baguio, and Iloilo, have already implemented the half-cup rice serving option.
“It is high time to implement this measure nationwide, as it can play a pivotal role in addressing the country’s rice self-sufficiency goals,” Garin said.
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