Press Release
February 14, 2016


With billions' worth of food being thrown away every year and millions of Filipinos starving, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero is pushing for a law that will stop food wastage and redirect unsold food items to institutions that feed the hungry.

Escudero filed Senate Bill No. 3225, banning supermarkets, food establishments and other similar businesses identified by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) from throwing away and spoiling unsold food, and encouraging owners to donate it to charitable groups.

The bill seeks to penalize violators with a fine ranging from P1 million to P5 million, depending on the amount of food that is thrown away or allowed to be spoiled, and the number of times the violation is committed.

"Banning food businesses from throwing away and spoiling unsold food can be an effective means in addressing food waste. It can also serve as a mover for these businesses to make use of such unsold food for charity purposes through donation," Escudero said in explaining the bill.

Escudero's proposal will make it a policy of the government to establish and maintain an effective food regulatory system that will address the needs of Filipinos living below the poverty threshold, which is one-fourth of the country's 100-million population.

In the Philippines, over 2.6 million families experienced involuntary hunger at least once, according to a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations in the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Allowing so much food to go to waste is a monstrous sin to those who dig in the dumps just to be able to put food on the table. It is so wrong for a society to allow others to throw away good food while millions have nothing to eat," Escudero said.

Data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology show that every Filipino wastes an average of 3.29 kg of rice per year. This translates to around 296,869 metric tons of rice, which is equivalent to 12.2 percent of the country's annual rice importation worth P7.3 billion.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines food loss as food that was spoiled before it reaches retail stage, and food waste as food that was already meant for human consumption but was not consumed because it was or rejected by retailers or consumers

Globally, 1.3 billion tons or one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted every year, the FAO said. This means the world is producing more than enough food but because much of it goes to waste, hunger remains an urgent problem.

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