Pangilinan pushes for ‘Anti-Pagpag Law’
Former senator Francis Pangilinan is pushing for the passage of a Food Bank Law, which bans supermarkets, restaurants, and other food shops from throwing away or destroying unsold food, which are picked up from the trash by the poor.
Taking food from the trash in order to survive is called “pagpag.”|
“There’s something terribly wrong when on the one hand, food is so plenty that the excess is trashed or allowed to rot, while on the other hand, we have countrymen who are hungry and eating food that has been thrown away,” said Pangilinan, former presidential assistant on food security and agricultural modernization.
“We need to correct this situation,” he said.
Under Pangilinan’s proposal, grocery stores, fast-food outlets, school and company canteens, bakeries, restaurants, and other food companies are required to “bank” and donate excess food to charities instead of throwing them away.
Charities will be required to collect and stock the food properly and distribute them to the poor with “dignity.”
According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, every Filipino on the average wastes 3.29 kilograms of rice per year.
Food is also wasted due to post-harvest losses from the absence of storage and transport facilities.
In 2008, the Philippines’ rice wastage was estimated at 296,869 metric tons, or about 12.2 percent of the year’s rice imports, amounting to P7.3 billion.
The amount could have fed more than two million Filipinos.