by Charissa L. Atienza
Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia has filed a bill seeking to declare malunggay as the “National Vegetable of the Philippines.”
De Venecia, in House Bill 5519, said all parts of the malunggay, which is scientifically known as “moringa,” are endowed with enormous nutritional and medicinal benefits.
“It has been found by biochemists and molecular anthropologists to be rich in Vitamins C and A, iron, and high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol,” he said.
The malunggay leaves alone contain seven times the Vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the Vitamin A in carrots, two times the protein in milk, and three times the potassium in bananas, De Venecia added.
It has 18 amino acids, plenty of Omega 3 oils and chlorophyll, plus 45 compounds with anti-oxidant properties and 36 anti-inflammatory properties, he said.
“In effect, malunggay is considered as an effective cure for illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, inflammations, infections, cancer, and aging issues. On the top of that, malunggay trees can also help stabilize the soil and contribute to the fight against deforestation,” De Venecia said.
“In view of the enormous benefits that can be derived from malunggay, this plant deserves a national recognition,” he said.
HB 5519 tasks the Secretary of Education, in coordination with the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and chairman of the National Commission for Culture and Arts, to promulgate the rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of the proposed act.