SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House committee on agriculture and food chaired by Rep. Jose Panganiban, Jr. approved four bills seeking to develop and strengthen the malunggay industry in the country.
The committee agreed to consolidate the four bills and come up with a substitute bill.
The first measure, House Bill 3908 authored by Deputy Speaker Linabelle Ruth Villarica seeks to promote the production, processing, marketing and distribution of Moringa Oleifera or malunggay.
In her sponsorship remarks, Villarica said now is the time for the government to intervene and develop the Moringa industry given the many benefits of malunggay.
“Studies have shown that 100 grams of Moringa leaves contain nine times the protein of yogurt, 10 times the Vitamin A of carrots, 15 times the potassium of bananas, 17 times the calcium of milk, and 12 times the Vitamin C of oranges,” she said.
Villarica said the bill seeks to mandate the Department of Agriculture (DA) to formulate a five-year development framework for the implementation of plans, projects and programs for the production, marketing, processing and distribution of malunggay for food, medicinal and commercial needs.
The second bill, HB 6555 entitled: “An Act Establishing A National Program For The Malunggay Industry, Appropriating Funds Therefor And For Other Purposes” is introduced by Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin.
Garin said it is time for malunggay to take the forefront because it is considered a superfood.
“Internationally, malunggay is getting more accepted. It is endemic to the Philippines so we won’t need any complicated technology,” Garin said.
The third bill, HB 417 authored by Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar seeks to establish a national program for the malunggay industry.
Aglipay-Villar said that while at present malunggay is an underutilized resource in the country, it is clear it would be to the benefit of the Filipino people if the plant and its industry were given more attention and support.
“Not only because of the health benefits malunggay brings but the economic ones as well. It is clear that as more and more uses of malunggay are discovered, the demand for it will increase,"she said.
Lastly, HB 6954 filed by Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seeks to develop a vibrant and viable malunggay-based agro-industries that will support the agri-industrialization initiatives of the Duterte administration and address the nutritional deficiency problems common in the countryside and urban slums.
“It can increase multifarious and varied on-farm, off-farm and non-farm enterprise incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands and urban spaces, make the Philippines globally competitive, impact local and international market and help attain food security and safety, poverty reduction and socio-economic equity,” Arroyo said. (MVI Palomar)