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Legarda Files Anew Bill to Maximize Benefits of Malunggay

September 13, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has re-filed a proposed measure that will allow the government to maximize the uses and benefits of malunggay.

 

Senate Bill No. 418, or the proposed Malunggay Development Act, aims to spur the production, processing, marketing and distribution of malunggay in suitable areas around the country in order to acquire its benefits.

 

“Malunggay is one of the most useful tropical trees. The relative ease with which it propagates through both sexual and asexual means and its low demand for soil nutrients and water after being planted makes its production and management easy,” said Legarda.

 

Malunggay’s young leaves are edible and are commonly cooked and eaten like spinach or used to make soups and salads. They are an exceptionally good source of provitamin A, vitamins B, and C, iron, and the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. The dry seeds can be ground to a powder and used for seasoning sauces, while the roots from young plants can be dried and ground for use as a hot seasoning base.

 

“Because of the many uses of malunggay, the government should formulate a sustainable framework for development that will serve as guide to the formulation and implementation of plans, programs and projects for the production, marketing, processing and distribution of malunggay for food, medicinal, health and commercial needs. This is the goal of the proposed measure I filed,” said Legarda.

 

Under SBN 418, such framework for development will be formulated by the Department of Agriculture (DA), in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), farmer’s groups, local government units, and the private sector.

 

The DA, in coordination with DENR, and the municipal government concerned, will identify the broad areas suitable for the planting and propagation of malunggay.

 

The bill also seeks to establish a Malunggay Development Fund to provide for the funding requirements for the production, marketing and processing of malunggay.