By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A woman lawmaker wants to declare November as the National Malunggay Month in recognition of the health, social, agricultural and environmental values of the malunggay plant.
DIWA partylist Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar sought the establishment of a Malunggay Development Fund (MDF) to continuously develop the malunggay industry.
She cited the need to establish a national program for malunggay industry.
“While at present, malunggay is an underutilized resource in our country, it is clear that it would be to the benefit of the Filipino people if the plant and its industry were given more attention and support, not only because of the health benefits malunggay brings, but the economic ones as well, ” she said.
She noted that the first international symposium on the plant and its benefits was held in 2015 in Manila as more and more uses of malunggay are discovered.
Aglipay-Villar urged the Department of Agriculture (DA), in consultation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) , state universities and colleges (SUCs) , farmers’ groups, local government units (LGUs) and the private sector to formulate the necessary measures, programs and projects for the advancement amd industry-wide development of malunggay.
She filed House Bill 4173 or the proposed Malunggay Development Act seeking an initial P50-million Malunggay Development Fund (MDF) to provide for the funding requirements for the production, marketing and processing of malunggay.
The initial MDF shall be taken from the existing budget, she said.
Under HB 4173, she proposes that the month of November be declared as the National Malunggay Month.
A counterpart bill in the Senate was filed by Senator Cynthia Villar, which also aims to promote the development of malunggay industry, create the MDF, as well as establish a National Malunggay Month.
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