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Restaurants to Donate Surplus Food to Charitable Institutions – ESTRELLA

 

The House Special Committee on Food Security has opened discussions on two bills requiring restaurants to donate to charitable institutions their leftover food that are still fit for consumption.

House Bill (HB) 4675 or the proposed “Mandatory Food Surplus Donation Act of 2016” authored by Reps. John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto (3rd District, Manila) and Edward Vera-Perez Maceda (4th District, Manila) and HB 2496 or ”An Act Providing for a System of Redistributing and Recycling Food Surplus to Promote Food Security” authored by Rep. Conrado M. Estrella III (Party-list, ABONO) both seek to help fight poverty and reduce food wastage, according to Rep. Leo Rafael M. Cueva (2nd District, Negros Occidental), chair of the committee.

Nieto and Maceda cited a recent survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that found the country’s malnutrition rate among aged zero to two years old to be at 26.2 percent, the highest in 10 years.

They also quoted an official government data which says that more than 26 million Filipinos are poor, with more than 12 million living in extreme poverty and lacking the means to feed themselves.

Their bill also covers all supermarkets, hotels, fast food chains and other food establishments. The bill imposes a punishment of “imprisonment of at six months and one day to six years, or a fine of at least P10,000 to P100,000 on a person or corporation found violating the Act.

The bill is in consonance with the State policy of upholding “a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard or living, and an improved quality of life for all.”

Meanwhile, Estrella explained that his HB 2496 aims to safeguard food security, end hunger, and promote the efficient use of the country’s food resources.

The measure also orders food-related businesses/establishments to donate to the concerned government agencies surplus foods that are no longer suitable for human consumption, to be used as organic fertilizer.

The bill requires leftover donors to submit a report to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on the amount (in tons) of their edible and inedible food waste and the manner of its disposal; to enter into a contract with food banks, “non-profit, charitable or other social mission-oriented organizations that distribute food” to the poor and hungry; to shoulder the cost of transporting edible food surplus to the food bank’s warehouse or distribution center, and inedible food surplus to waste management sites; to ensure that edible food surplus is in good condition, in accordance with the standard set by the DENR, Department of Agriculture (DA), and DOST; and to enter into a contract with waste management and recycling enterprises to recycle inedible food surplus into fertilizers or compost.

The measure seeks to impose a fine of P500,000 up to P5 million on any person and/or private or public establishment who makes edible food left-over unfit for consumption, and/or prevent the redirection of edible food surplus to food banks or inedible food surplus to waste management and recycling establishments.

It also seeks to grant tax incentive to establishments that donate edible food surplus to food banks and inedible food waste for use as fertilizers in farms.

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