Senate bill filed to remove trans-fat in imports, manufacture and sale of food products | Inquirer News

Senate bill filed to remove trans-fat in imports, manufacture and sale of food products

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 02:47 PM December 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A bill was filed in the Senate seeking to prohibit the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of food and products that are high in trans-fatty acids.

A fine of up to P300,000 and up to one-year imprisonment will be in store for violators once Senate Bill 1954 or Trans-Fat Free Philippines Act becomes a law authored by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is passed into law.

Pangilinan, who is farming fruits and vegetables on the side, said his bill seeks to recognize the right of the people to safe and nutritious food, free from substances like trans-fatty acids (TFA) that increase the risk of contracting deadly diseases.


The bill also seeks to encourage Filipinos to have a healthier lifestyle free from heart complications and diseases by steering away from food high in trans-fatty acids.


“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), TFA (trans-fatty acid) elimination is considered as one of the simplest and most straightforward public health interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and improve nutritional quality of diets,” the senator said.

Senator Nancy Binay last November 16 filed the Senate Bill 1916, a similar bill that also aims to protect Filipinos from the harmful effects of trans-fatty acids.

According to U.S.-based nonprofit organization Mayo Clinic, trans-fatty acids, unlike other dietary fats, raise a person’s bad cholesterol and lowers the good cholesterol

“Most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature,” the organization said on its website.

Fried food, baked goods, sticks of margarine, and other spreads are among the list of products that are high in trans-fats.

Heart disease and COVID-19

In pushing for the law, Pangilinan correlated the unhealthy eating habits and practices to coronavirus disease.


“Sabi nga, prevention is better than cure. Para makaiwas sa COVID, OK na umpisahan natin sa mga healthy habits, tulad ng pagtulog nang sapat na oras, pagpapanatiling malinis ang sarili at paligid, pag-e-exercise, at ang pagkain nang balanse at masustansya,” he said in a statement on Monday.

(Prevention is better than cure. To avoid COVID, we should start to practice healthy habits such as having adequate sleep, maintaining cleanliness in our bodies and the environment, exercising, and eating a balanced and nutritious meal.)

Pangilinan said that as of June, almost half or 48 percent of COVID-19 deaths are also due to coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases.

“Pinatunayan ng COVID na tunay na health is wealth. Lalong pinag-iingat ang mga may sakit sa puso dahil tumataas ang tsansa na magka-Covid,” he added.

(COVID proved that health is wealth. Those with heart disease should be careful due to the high chances of contracting COVID.)

WHO, in its 2019 Global Health Estimates, said that the Philippines recorded the highest cases of heart disease in Southeast Asia.

It reported that 120 out of every 100,000 Filipinos died of ischemic, or coronary, heart disease in 2019, the worst record among Southeast Asian countries that listed the ailment as its top cause of death.

Noncommunicable diseases account for 68% of deaths in the country, WHO added. One in every three Filipinos is likely to die before the age of 70 from one of four of such diseases: cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or chronic respiratory diseases.

Denmark, which pioneered in banning trans-fat in food in 2003, saw a 75 percent reduction in coronary heart deaths. While Argentina’s elimination of industrially-produced trans fats averted 301 to 1517 cardiac deaths every year.

“Gawin natin ang ating makakaya para maging malusog at ligtas sa sakit — Covid man o ibang sakit — ang lahat ng Pilipino. Kailangang matibay ang ating puso,” Pangilinan said.

(Let us do our best to stay healthy and safe from diseases, whether it is COVID or other illness. We must have a strong heart.)

“Ugaliin ding tingnan ang nutrition facts sa mga binibiling pagkain,” he added.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

(Make it a habit to check the nutrition facts of the food you will buy.)


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

TAGS: COVID-19, trans-fat, WHO

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.