MANILA – Camote and corn would make for a nutritious substitute for rice, a staple Filipino food, among families affected by its price increase.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Enrique Tayag said camote and corn are cheaper than rice but they can provide the same benefits, in terms of calories, to consumers.
"Puwede tayo magkaroon ng rotation sa ating basic food requirements, ito ay napatunayan na sa mga nagdaang panahon. Halimbawa, may mga kababayan tayo na nasanay na kumain ng iba munang pagkain maliban sa bigas. Halimbawa ay kamote, mais (We can have rotation with our basic food requirements, this has been proven in the past. For example, we have fellow men who got used to eating other foods, other than rice, such as camote and corn)," Tayag said in a media briefing on Tuesday.
Health experts say that camote or sweet potato is a better source of carbohydrates for energy compared to rice as it is high in fiber and it has other cancer-fighting nutrients. Camote also does not transform into sugar causing diabetes, unlike rice.
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority said the country has enough supply of rice until the end of the year but rice prices have been increasing for the past weeks.
It added that the intensified El Niño phenomenon is expected to result in below-normal rainfall by the end of the year which may affect rice production.
Under Executive Order 39, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. mandated PHP41 per kilogram as the price ceiling for regular milled rice and PHP45 per kg as the price cap for well-milled rice.
"Nagbigay ng pangako ang ating Pangulo na kahit papaano ay may ayuda po na maaaring matanggap lalo na po 'yung maaapektuhan sa price ceiling (Our President promised to provide ayuda to those who will be affected by the price ceiling)," Tayag said.
"So, ang importante po dito ay babalansehin po natin 'yung ating pagkain ng kanin at sa iba pang gulay na maaari naman nating mabili sa murang halaga (So, what's important here is we will balance our rice consumption with eating of vegetables which are cheaper)." (PNA)