Cebu City implements ‘half-rice’ ordinance

By John Rey Saavedra

September 18, 2023, 8:04 pm

CEBU CITY – The Cebu City Council eyed the full implementation of a decade-old measure that promotes rice conservation in schools and establishments amid the rising prices of the household staple.

In a resolution, Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos on Monday said City Ordinance No. 2409 or the Rice Conservation Ordinance of Cebu City could help the national government in efforts to teach the public about the importance of rice conservation.

The council supported delos Santos’ resolution asking the Cebu City Health Office to fully implement Ordinance No. 2409, requiring business establishment involved in the preparation and sale of meals like restaurants, schools, offices, hospitals, cafeterias, catering operations, fast food chains and other food-related services to include as an option half-rice serving in their menu.

“Remain unimplemented yet it benefits our communities. Though it may not entirely address the problem. But as a legislator, initiating legislation that is a potent tool to take concrete action as such in this time of uncertainty. City Ordinance 2409 is a policy tool that demands full activation,” she said.

The resolution cited the city health office as the enforcement arm tasked to inspect food establishments and to submit within two months a list of establishments that do not comply with the law.

Establishments who would not follow the ordinance may face a PHP1,500 administrative fine for first offense, and PHP3,000 and PHP4,000 fine for second and third offense, respectively.
For the fourth offense, the establishment will face a PHP5,000 fine and a possible suspension of business permit. (PNA)