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Keep Calm And Kanin On: No bill to ban 'unli-rice'

Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chairperson Sen. Cynthia Villar says she will not file a bill seeking to ban unlimited rice promos of restaurants. STAR/Mong Pintolo, file

MANILA, Philippines – Pinoys can now have their rice in peace as Sen. Cynthia Villar on Thursday clarified her statement on a supposed plan to ban of “unlimited rice” promos in restaurants.

Villar, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chairperson, said she is not planning to file a bill to ban the serving of unlimited rice as she was just expressing her opinion.

“I am not planning to make a law banning ‘unli-rice’, not at all.  I just voiced out my concern that eating too much rice is one of the main causes of high blood sugar that leads to diabetes,” the senator explained Thursday.

“Of course, I cannot prevent people from eating unlimited amount of rice. It is their choice. It was just a genuine expression of concern on my part,” she continued.

Netizens defend 'unlirice'

The supposed banning of rice promos drew flak from netizens, with some insisting that there are other more pressing problems that the country needs to resolve and there are other much more unhealthy food that need to be regulated.

In a Senate hearing on rice importation and other rice-related matters on Wednesday, Villar said that the country should promote a balanced diet that consists of a small portion of rice and a generous amount of vegetables.

“You know, the findings in other countries, mas better ang diet nila. Hindi masyadong maraming rice, may vegetable. If you really ask doctors, that's a better diet. So dapat i-train na rin nating mga Filipinos not to eat too much rice kasi nagiging diabetic. And you know, it's expensive to cure diabetes,” Villar told reporters after the hearing as she explained that the Filipino children should grow up healthy.

“Parang sinasabi sa ibang bansa kaya hindi sila nagiging self-sufficient, because they have a better diet. So makakatulong iyon, iyong sinasabi nilang unlimited rice, hindi maganda iyon sa diet natin,” she added.

Villar admitted that it will really be difficult to stop Filipinos from eating rice as the Philippines is a nation or rice eaters. But to decrease health risks, cutting down on rice is still a good idea.

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