- Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV filed Senate Bill No. 357, or the Zero Food Waste Act which aims to end food wastage in the Philippines
- The proposed law, if enacted, will require food establishments to donate excess food to poor families
- The bill also seeks to establish a committee which will put an end to food insecurity and dependency on donations of Filipinos
In the hopes of ultimately ending the cycle of having food end up in the trash instead of stomachs, Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV filed Senate Bill No. 357, or the Zero Food Waste Act which if passed will require food establishments to donate excess food to food banks.
“With high prices of basic necessities and food these days, wasting food is unjustifiable,” Aquino said. The proposal seeks to create a National Anti-Food Waste Scheme with the Department of Social Welfare and Development as coordinating agency between food banks and businesses which manufacture food.
The bill is set to benefit the poorest families who cannot afford daily meals while addressing the growing food wastage issues in the country.
The proposal is in connection to the survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) which indicates that 3.1 million Filipinos experience involuntary hunger in the first quarter of the year. The number is higher by half a million over the survey conducted during the last quarter of 2015.
A Self-Sufficiency Program which is designed to provide skills training on managing food banks while working on livelihood initiatives to avoid dependence on donations is also part of Aquino’s proposal.
Businesses in food industry, apart from being mandated to donate their excess food, are also set to shoulder the costs of sending the food to food banks' warehouses and point of distribution.
According to Aquino, the proposed law will reduce food insecurity.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defined food insecurity as "when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."
Punishment for those who “deliberately make food waste unfit for consumption” will entail imprisonment of six months to six years. -MR, Kami Media