Half-cup rice mandatory on Iloilo menus
The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here approved on Tuesday an ordinance requiring food establishments to include half-cup rice serving in their menu to prevent wastage and give consumers more choices.
The food service industry has been given three months to comply after publication of the mandatory provision of the “Rice Conservation Ordinance of Iloilo City”.
The ordinance is the city government’s initiative to support government’s “Be Riceponsible” campaign spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture- Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).
Last June, Councilor Ely Estante, chair of the committee on agriculture of the SP and author of the ordinance, met with Myriam G. Layaoen, director of “Be RiCEponsible”, for the rice policy.
Estante said based on the 2008 study of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), every Filipino wastes an average of two tablespoons of cooked rice or nine grams of uncooked rice daily.
It is equivalent to wastage of more than 12 percent of the country’s imported rice in 2008 valued atP7.27 billion and equivalent to the food of 2.5 million Filipinos annually.
The new policy covers businesses, institutions and companies involved in the preparation, sale of meals, catering services and other related services that serve consumers, including but not limited to restaurants, canteens, fast food restaurants, cafeterias, carinderias or “turo-turo”, are mandated to include in their menu the half cup rice serving. This should be offered as an option even on first serving.
It should also be presented as an option for ala carte and plated/set meals with corresponding reduction in prices.
The ordinance also makes it mandatory that the half cup rice serving be contained in the menu and made known by attending service crew, waiter, waitress or cashier before the consumer starts ordering.
Exempted from the ordinance are rice buffet tables and eat-all-you-can rice or establishments that offer unlimited rice.
The half-cup rice serving should not be less than the US standard measurement of one-half cup or 80 grams of cooked regular rice.
The Local School Board (LSB), City Health Office (CHO) and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) are tasked to incorporate the ordinance to their feeding and education programs.
Violation of the ordinance will merit a warning for the first offense; fine of P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 and suspension of business permit for the third offense.
The ordinance will hold accountable the owners, proprietor/proprietress, juridical or natural persons for the failure to include in their menu the half-cup option and the failure of their service crew, waiter/waitress or cashier to inform the customer of their option.(PNA)