House approves bill requiring establishments to donate unsold, edible food to charity

  • A bill has been proposed seeking a National Zero-Food Waste Campaign
  • Under the Food Surplus Reduction Act, excess but edible food should be donated to food banks while inedible food will be taken and made into fertilizers
  • The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has approved a bill that requires establishments to donate their unsold but edible food to charity through food banks.

Image by House of Representatives of the Philippines

The House Bill 7956 or the Food Surplus Reduction Act has been given the green light by the lower chamber. The measure is actually a consolidation of over 17 bills that seeks to promote the donation and recycling of excess but edible food.

In an effort to raise awareness on the impact of food surplus, the bill mandates the implementation of a National Zero-Food Waste Campaign.

The measure covers food manufacturers, food establishments such as restaurants, cafes, diners, fast-food chains and hotels, supermarkets, and culinary schools. Owners of these establishments are required to segregate their food surplus and donate it to food banks.

To ensure the safety of the recipients, a sanitary inspector of the local government will be tasked to inspect the food prior to its donation. Food banks will be in coordination with the social welfare department and local government in distributing the food donation.

Those who are found donating food surplus that are “unfit for human consumption” will be fined P500,000, while those who prevent the redirection of excess edible food will be fined P1 million for the first offense.

Image by Canva Pro

Meanwhile, inedible foods will also be collected by waste management and recycling companies to turn it into fertilizers or compost.

According to the Social Weather Stations Survey in September, an estimated 7.6 million Filipinos went hungry in the third quarter this year due to the financial implications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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