Davao City council approves ‘half-rice’ ordinance

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Food establishments here in the city will soon be required to include one-half cup of cooked rice in their menu as councilors voted with finality the “Davao Rice Conservation Ordinance.”

The ordinance authored by Councilor Marissa P. Salvador-Abella was approved on Tuesday, January 8, during the City Council’s regular session.

This aims to make one-half cup of rice serving as an option that would help minimize wastage of rice in the city.

The measure covers all businesses, institutions and companies responsible for any sale of meals such as restaurants, schools, offices, hospitals, cafeterias, catering operations, fast food chains and other food related services operating within Davao City.

Eat-all-you-can business establishments are exempted from the ordinance unless they are serving “plate-in or ala carte meals.”

“As a form of public information and awareness, such information shall be mandatorily contained in the menu and be made known by the attending service crew, waiter, waitress or cashier to the consumer before the latter shall commence ordering,” Section 4 of the ordinance read.

The City Health Office and the City Agriculturist Office will serve as the leading agencies tasked to monitor and conduct inspections on food establishments.

Based on a research conducted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 2012, the Philippines wastes more than 300,000 tons of rice annually amounting to P23 million every day or about P8.4 billion a year.

To date, Davao City will add up to the list of cities with “half-cup of rice ordinance” such as Quezon City, Manila, Cebu City and Iloilo City. (davaotoday.com)