MANILA, Philippines - One of your backyard plants may become the national Philippine vegetable under a proposed law that has been passed by the House of Representatives.
Approved by the lower chamber on third and final reading last Monday, House Bill 2072 seeks to declare malunggay (moringa) as the country's national vegetable and November as the "National Malunggay Month."
Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Gina de Venecia, the bill's authors, cited the economic, nutritional and medicinal benefits of malunggay. She said the vegetable has been promoted by the World Health Organization for the past 20 years as low-cost health enhancer in poor countries.
De Venecia also stressed the importance of malunggay products to the Philippine economy.
"Malunggay tree is one of the most important plants that deserve national and international promotion due to the many bio-medical endowment and numerous socio-economic benefits that can be derived from it," De Venecia said in the bill's explanatory note.
The Secretaries of Agriculture, Education, Health, and the chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts shall create the rules and regulations for the implementation of the proposed measure.
The measure was approved more than a week after House Bill 3926 or the "Philippine National Symbols Act of 2014" was filed.
The new proposed law seeks to declare and recognize the country's national symbols, such as adobo as the national Philippine food.