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Villar clarifies: No ‘unli rice’ ban

CEBU, Philippines – After drawing flak from netizens because of her statement against the unlimited rice promo of several food establishments, Senator Cynthia Villar has asked the public to remain calm saying she does not have  plans to pass a legislation about it.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said she merely expressed her opinion about consuming too much rice that causes diabetes.

“I am not planning to make a law banning ‘unli-rice.’ Not at all,”Villar said, adding that she cannot prevent people from eating unlimited amount of rice.

Villar was quoted in earlier reports proposing the ban of ‘unli rice’ in food establishments because it is not good for public health.

“It’s time na pabigatin natin yung rice natin para yung mga Pilipino kumain nang less rice at ipagbawal na yang … ano ba yang sinasabi nilang unlimited rice, masama yan. Ipagbawal na natin yang unlimited rice kasi nagkakasakit tayo gawa ng unlimited rice na yan. We should learn how to eat vegetables.”

“Stupid proposal. You cannot legislate what people can eat, what people should eat, and how much people should eat, not even for health reasons. If I have money to buy unli rice, what’s it to you? You don’t address problems of self-sufficiency by compelling people to eat less, you ensure self-sufficiency by better food production technology,” a certain JC Manuel commented on the article posted by Philstar.

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Even the officials of Cebu do not agree to ban unlimited rice offers by food establishments. Vice Governor Agnes Magpale described it as anti-poor.

“You know that’s the call for diabetics,” Magpale said.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said it should be the prerogative of the customer to order unlimited rice.

“Para nako, dili lang tingale pugngan ang customer, iya na nga look out sa kuan. It’s the prerogative of the customer,” Davide said.

Alissa Enriquez, shift manager of Mang Inasal, one of the food outlets offering unlimited rice, said the promo helped them attract more customers.

Enriquez, in a report over dyLA, said banning ‘unli rice’ would mean additional cost for customers.

For example she said, one order of chicken barbeque with unlimited rice only costs P111. If unlimited rice serving is banned, a customer order needs to pay extra P20 for one rice serving.

Enriquez said the promo contributes huge factor in their profit since customers are looking for it.

Some netizens, however, agree with Villar. One of them as Lloyd Cruz.

“I agree with this..kaya nga sa mga restaurants mag-ba-ban ng unli rice, hindi naman sinabi ng sa bahay n’yo.. malaki din matutulong n’yan sa kakapusan natin sa bigas…. unlike sa ibang bansa na sufficient at never naging insufficient ang rice sa kanila,” Cruz commented on Villar’s pronouncement. (FREEMAN)

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