A lady lawmaker has filed House Bill No. 4173 seeking to declare November as National Malunggay Month to recognize and provide importance to the health, social, agricultural, and environmental value of the malunggay.
DIWA party-list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar also filed HB 4173 or the proposed Malunggay Development Act to establish a Malunggay Development Fund to continuously develop thec malunggay industry as an agribusiness. She also cited the need to establish a national program for the malunggay industry.
HB 4173 proposes an initial R50-million MDF to provide the funding requirements for the production, marketing, and processing of malunggay.
“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.
Aglipay-Villar 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.
She urged the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Science and Technology, state universities and colleges, farmers’ groups, local government units, and the private sector to formulate the necessary measures, programs, and projects for the advancement and industry-wide development of malunggay.
The initial MDF shall be taken from the existing budget, Aglipay-Villar said.
A counterpart bill in the Senate was filed by Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, which also aims to promote the development of malunggay industry, create the MDF, as well as establish a National Malunggay Month. (Charissa L. Atienza)