MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos eat plenty of rice, but the reality is that not all can finish what is served or ordered in a restaurant. For example, in a typical fast food restaurant, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute said that each person wastes up to three tablespoons each day, or three kilos (6.6 lbs) of rice per year. The International Rice and Research Institute also estimates that up to PHP23 million worth of rice is wasted in the Philippines each day.
In light of the high cost of rice, and shortages, as a solution to the problem, Butil Party List House Representative Agapito Guanlao is introducing a bill that will require all restaurants to sell half orders of rice, if it becomes law.
“Karamihan kasi, hindi naman nauubos ang isang cup,” (Most people can’t even finish one cup,) said Guanlao. “Sa dami ng mga nagugutom ngayon… itong wastage na ito kailangan mapakain natin ito sa mga mahihirap” (The number of people hungry right now… this amount of waste, we need to feed to the poor), he adds.
So far, the proposed law is being received well, and gaining support.
“Makakatulong din sa budget, kasi hindi naman nauubos ng dalawang anak ko ang kanin na ino-order namin,” a mother of two said when asked about the proposed bill.
Guanlao is also confident that the proposed bill will pass and become law, since it is also supported by the House Committee on Agriculture.