- Several provinces and cities implementing local ordinances requiring the serving of half-cup rice orders
Manila: Food establishments across the Philippines should be mandated to serve half cup ofsteamed rice as standard, as part of a campaign to curb food wastage.
Most restaurants and food outlets serve a full cup of rice, about 200 grams, as standard. As the country marks National Rice Awareness Month, the PhilRice on Thursday pushed for the mandated serving of half cup of rice in food establishments nationwide to address wastage of the Philippine’s staple food.
A half cup (0.5 cup) of rice, or about 100g, contains 103 calories.
10 gAmount of rice wastage per person, according to goverment data
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has sounded a call to action, advocating for the mandatory serving of a half cup of rice in eateries across the nation to combat the alarming wastage of the country's staple food.
The Philippines is the world’s biggest rice importer, estimated to hit 3.8 million metric tons, surpassing the revised import projection of 3.5 million tons for perennial top buyer China, according to US Department of Agriculture data for 2023/24.
In a press briefing at the presidential palace, Hazel Antonio, head of PhilRice's development communication division, revealed that rice wastage amounts to a staggering 10 grams per person or approximately 384,000 metric tonnes annually. Karen Barroga, PhilRice deputy executive director, emphasized that the monetary value of the wasted rice, estimated at PHP 7 million, could have provided sustenance for around 2.5 million Filipinos for an entire year.
The campaign, aptly named "Get only what you need," encourages a default serving of half a cup of rice to minimise wastage.
Several provinces, cities, and restaurants have already partnered with PhilRice, implementing local ordinances requiring the serving of half-cup rice orders. The Philippines marks National Rice Awareness Month this November.
Antonio highlighted that 46 local ordinances, including those in Quezon City, the City of Manila, Puerto Princesa City, Davao City, Cebu City, Baguio City, and Iloilo City, mandate restaurants to serve half-cup rice orders.
Advocating for a national law on the matter, Antonio expressed the need for consistency across the country. She emphasized that the proposal has received support from businesses, as long as there is no additional cost involved.
PhilRice's initiative aligns with the celebration of National Rice Awareness Month in November, themed "Be RICEponsible." The campaign aims to raise public awareness about achieving rice self-sufficiency, addressing malnutrition, and alleviating poverty.
384,000 mtamount of rice wasted in metric tonnes in the Philippines annually, according to PhilRice
Barroga urged the public to support local rice, including home-grown brown rice and alternative grains like adlai. She emphasized that practicing integrated pest management ensures the safety of locally produced rice and consolidating the efforts of Filipino rice farmers can meet the country's rice demand, ultimately reducing costs for consumers.