Legarda urges preservation of culinary heritage anew on Filipino Food Month

April 14, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda renewed her strong commitment to preserving the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines as the nation celebrates Filipino Food Month.

“By advancing and refining our culinary output, we are able to enhance our country’s standing and prestige within the global culinary realm. Giving value to our Filipino gastronomic heritage makes way for nationalistic fervor and preservation of our cultural legacy,” she said during the national launch of the Filipino Food Month celebration.

Legarda underscored her pledge to continue her advocacies of promoting the diverse gastronomical history of the country through policies and laws that govern the nation.

Last year, she introduced Senate Bill No. 244, or the Philippine Culinary Heritage Act of 2022, geared towards cultivating and sustaining culture through inclusion in the education sector while preserving traditional ingredients and cooking methods.

“The measure includes the documentation of essential culinary mapping, which will include geography, cooking methods, and the cuisine of indigenous peoples,” she said, noting that this is also a way of supporting local farmers and promoting the tourism industry.

Legarda said the bill promotes food education among Filipinos, which plays a crucial role in shaping behavior towards food, leading to healthier habits and appreciation for local produce.

Likewise, the four-term Senator has championed several bills prioritizing food security and the rising issue of food wastage in the Philippines in recent years.

She filed Senate Bill No. 240, or the Zero Food Waste Act of 2022, which intends to promote food waste reduction through redistribution and recycling.

Legarda said this would significantly address hunger and food wastage as this bill seeks to task-specific government agencies to undertake the National Zero Food Waste Campaign and construct a Food-related Business Waste Reduction Strategy, among others.

Moreover, she pushed for the passage of Senate Bill No. 239, or the Food Forest Gardening Act of 2022, which aims to introduce low-maintenance food production through agroforestry.

The bill will help farmers build productive farming communities, produce high-quality crops, and provide a source of income for urban and rural communities, as Legarda emphasized.

Through these bills, Legarda underscored the right of every Filipino to adequate and proper nutrition, stressing the need to create a legislative framework to achieve food security and sustainability.

“As we celebrate Filipino Food Month, let us remember that our diverse history and flavors that make our cuisine so unique are a product of our shared heritage. It is a unique aspect of our identity as a nation that we recognize and celebrate,” she urges. (end)