DOH advises Filipinos to eat sweet potato, corn
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday advised Filipinos to consider alternative sources of carbohydrates to rice amid fears of a rice stock shortage after the government implemented a price cap on the prime commodity.
Enrique Tayag, spokesperson for the DOH, said the public may consume “kamote,” or sweet potato, and corn, instead of rice, to create a “rotation to basic food requirements.”
“Some Filipinos have gotten used to eating other [staple] food other than rice,” Tayag told a press conference.
A person’s caloric intake need not be compromised just because of price and supply issues of basic commodities, he added.
The health undersecretary also reminded the public to maintain a “balanced diet” as the typical Filipino plate contains more rice than vegetables, which are more nutritious.
Last year, Rep. Janette Garin, a former health secretary, recommended the promotion of kamote, which can be cooked as popular dishes, such as “yang chow kamote,” “kamote paella” and “sushi kamote,” as the country faced a threat of a rice shortage due to a significant drop in palay production.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute earlier suggested cassava and banana as alternatives to rice.
On Friday, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Executive Order No. 39 setting a price cap of P45 per kilo for well-milled rice and P41 per kilo for regular-milled rice. The price took effect on Tuesday.
But the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry appealed to consumers not to panic or hoard rice sold in the market, saying there was “enough for us to cover the market demand.”