A DAVAO City councilor said the implementation of the 'half-cup rice' ordinance is expected to start three months after its final approval at the City Council.
Councilor Marissa Abella told reporters Thursday that the City Health Office (CHO) with the assistance of the City Agriculturist Office (CAO) will inspect food establishments to identify who are not including half-cup rice in their menu after three months.
She said that since CHO is already conducting sanitation inspection, checking whether the establishments comply with the half-cup rice ordinance will be easy.
"I am happy of the positive feedback, because the main goal is to reduce the wastage of rice," she said.
She added that the ordinance will also be beneficial to the diabetic and senior citizens who only consume less rice.
Abella also said that through the ordinance, customers in food establishments which offer unlimited rice but offer plate-in or ala-carte meals can order half cup if they choose not to have unlimited rice.
In the ordinance "one half cup of the serving of the one cup order of rice is determined by the food establishment provided that the half cup shall not be less than eighty grams (80 grams).”
The ordinance states that businesses, institutions, and companies responsible for any sale of meals including but not limited to restaurants, schools, offices, hospitals, cafeterias, catering operations, fast food chains and other food related services are included in the coverage.
It also states that food service industry engaged in eat-all-you-can or buffet meals shall be exempt from the ordinance unless they are serving plate-in or ala-carte meals.
She added that since the ordinance has undergone three committee hearings wherein representatives of food service industry including those of fast food chains were invited and they are expected to know the law.
Abella also said that since it is already a law, food establishments will have to follow it.
She said that the city mayor is authorized to create a joint executive-legislative working group to formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the ordinance within the period of three months from the approval of the ordinance.