- Senator Bam Aquino proposes Senate Bill no. 357 or the “Zero Food Waste Act”
- The proposed bill seeks to “ultimately end the cycle of having food end up in the trash instead of stomachs”
- About 6.9 million families in the country consider themselves “food-poor”
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV proposed a bill that would prevent food from going to waste and feeding the country’s poorest families at the same time.
In a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted for the first quarter of 2016, it showed that 31% of the respondents, or an estimated 6.9 million families, consider themselves as “food-poor” or barely have enough food to eat, as per an article published by Rappler.
Through the Senate Bill no. 357, or the Zero Food Waste Act, Aquino aims to “ultimately end the cycle of having food end up in the trash instead of stomachs.”
The Zero Food Waste Act will require restaurants and food-related businesses to donate excess but clean food to charities involved in the distribution of meals such as food banks, to ensure that the surplus food would remain safe for consumption.
“Sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin at presyo ng pagkain ngayon, hindi makatarungan na maraming nasasayang na pagkain,” Aquino said in a statement.
[Given the high price of food these days, it is unjust that a lot of food goes to waste]
Through this proposed bill, Aquino seeks to create a National Anti-Food Waste Scheme and will appoint the Department of Social Welfare and Development to act as a coordinating agency between businesses and the food banks. Guidelines for collection, storage and distribution of the donated food will be set by DSWD to ensure the food’s good condition.
Aquino added that establishments who will “deliberately make food waste unfit for consumption and anyone who will bar the transport of food to food banks may face imprisonment of from six months to six years,” as per an article published by Inquirer.
A self-sufficiency program will also be put in place to provide the food-poor with skills training on managing food banks and livelihood programs to avoid dependence on donations.