‘Don’t waste rice’ – Legarda reminds public

November 22, 2023


In observance of National Rice Awareness Month, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda reminded Filipinos to be prudent in rice consumption and encouraged every stakeholder, particularly policymakers, to play their part in achieving rice self-sufficiency, increasing farmers’ income, and improving the health of rice consumers.

“Any wastage in biodiversity and climate crisis is an opportunity for swift action and change for us all since we all consider rice one of the most important crops,” said Legarda.

“Plugging this leak should be a priority, considering our commitments under the Convention on Biodiversity to cut food waste in half by 2030,” she added.

According to the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), Filipinos waste about P7 million worth of rice annually, which could feed 2.5 million people.

This amounts to about two tablespoons of rice wasted by every person daily, or around 384,000 metric tons each year.

DA-PhilRice also explained that the rice wastage is attributed primarily to the Filipinos’ “takaw mata” mentality, which leaves a lot of food left on the table.

As part of the observance of National Rice Awareness Month, Legarda’s Office and DA-PhilRice jointly hold an exhibit at the second-floor lobby of the Senate building in Pasay City from November 21-24.

“We take so many common things for granted, and we hope that these kinds of exhibits make us look inward at how we consume and waste a precious commodity,” explained Legarda.

“I remain committed to helping strengthen food security by proposing legislation that will be of tremendous help to everybody since we all eat.”

Among the items on display for the exhibit include different rice varieties, a brown rice mill, and video presentations on the country’s rice programs.

Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 524 Series of 2004, National Rice Awareness Month is observed every November in the Philippines to raise public awareness on rice, combat malnutrition and poverty, and attain rice self-sufficiency.

Last year, the DA established the “BeRICEponsible” theme, which will run through 2028 to highlight and prioritize locally produced rice.

“My congratulations to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) for campaigns that strike at the heart of planetary and personal health. The success of campaigns on rice awareness will help close the rice self-sufficiency gap, make our population healthy, and make it the norm to ensure that no single grain is wasted,” Legarda stressed. (30)