Lawmakers on Monday (July 13) urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to implement a program that would promote vegetable farming and consumption, and provide incentives to farmers.
Nueva Ecija 1st district Rep. Estrellita Suansing, and Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman rallied behind the call made by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to the public to switch to a plant-based diet to help reduce their ecological footprint that will help fight climate change.
“That’s what we are doing in our district. We have a program for SK Federation to come up with Gulayan ng mga Kabataan and I will support them with funding,” she said in a text message.
When asked if there is a necessity to file a bill promoting or incentivizing plant-based diet, Suansing said, “In my opinion, there is no need. EMB/DENR can come up with a program and provide funds to LGU. Come up with incentives. Ang tagal kapag idaan pa sa bill (It will take long if we will go through the legislation process).”
In celebration of July as Nutrition Month, the DENR launched the month-long “Plant-Based Solutions for Climate Change” campaign.
Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman said the government should further promote vegetable farming and consumption, given its health benefits.
“I’m a firm believer in a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits with minimum animal protein. In my district I have patients in their early 20s who already have different types of cancer and their common denominator is a diet that is poor in vegetables and fruits but high in meat, especially processed meats. This is why I promote vegetable farming and consumption. It is the secret to a longer life. Gaganda pa skin mo (Your skin will glow) at magmumukhang bata (and you will look younger)!,” she said.
She proposed the integration of vegetable farming in school curriculum and the grant of incentives to farmers producing organic vegetables and crops.
“We can mandate schools to integrate this in their curriculum and incentivize farmers to produce more and through organic means,” Roman said.
In a statement, EMB Director William Cuñado said over the weekend that switching to a plant-based diet not only benefits one’s health but it can also help protect the environment, as it reduces greenhouse emissions.
According to a University of Oxford study, cutting meat and dairy products from a person’s diet could reduce the individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent.