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Rice prices prompt cost-saving measures

Bill to be filed seeking to limit servings of rice in restaurants
By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 12:01 AM September 26, 2013

A WORKER carries a sack of rice in a market amid rising prices and reports of a supply shortage. AP

LUCENA CITY—Students eating lunch in school have resorted to bringing pack foods to save money.

Lorna Caballero, mother of two boys in a private elementary school here, said she started bringing home-cooked lunch to her children to be spared from the high cost of food at the school canteen.

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Caballero said when the price of rice started to rise, the cost of a simple lunch at the school canteen and outside eateries

also started rising.

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“Besides, the quality of rice is no longer palatable to the taste of my kids. Maybe, the canteen operator resorts to cost-cutting to earn profit,” she said, while buying a pack of hotdogs in a local grocery.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said Filipinos waste rice worth at least P23 million every day or about P8.4 billion a year.

Data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute

(FNRI) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) showed that every Filipino wastes an average of 3 tablespoons (9 grams) of rice daily, which is equivalent to 3.3 kilograms per year.

Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza, chair of the House agriculture committee, and Butil party-list Rep. Agapito Guanlao, chair of the House committee on food security, have been quoted in earlier reports as saying they will file a bill requiring restaurants and other food establishments to serve rice in one-half cup portions, instead of one cup.

“Large consumers of rice like the food industry will be able to lower costs for the procurement of rice because less rice will be served to their customers,” Guanlao said in a joint statement.

He said the government would benefit because rice supplies would not be depleted by restaurant chains that serve the staple.

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The bill proponents said 96.7 million Filipinos waste as much as 319,000 metric tons of rice annually.

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