The Iloilo City council has approved an ordinance requiring food establishments to include half-cup rice serving in their menu.
The main objective of the ordinance is to prevent wastage and give consumers more choices.
The food service industry was given 3 months to comply after publication of the mandatory provision of the ordinance.
The move is in support of "Be Riceponsible" campaign spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture- Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).
Businesses, institutions, and companies involved in the preparation, sale of meals, catering services and other related services that serve consumers, including but not limited to restaurants, canteens, fast food restaurants, cafeterias, carinderias or "turo-turo", are mandated to include in their menu the half-cup rice serving. This should be offered as an option even on first serving.
Those exempted from the ordinance are rice buffet tables and eat-all-you-can rice or establishments that offer unlimited rice.
The half-cup rice serving should not be less than the U.S. standard measurement of one-half cup or 80 grams of cooked regular rice.
Violation of the ordinance will result in a warning for the first offense; a fine of P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 and suspension of business permit for the third offense.
The ordinance will hold accountable the owners, proprietor/proprietress, juridical or natural persons for the failure to include in their menu the half-cup option and the failure of their service crew, waiter/waitress or cashier to inform the customer of their option.
Councilor Ely Estante is the author of the ordinance.
Estante said that based on the 2008 study of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), every Filipino wastes an average of two tablespoons of cooked rice or nine grams of uncooked rice daily.