President Osmeña’s message to Congress on the “Institute of Nutrition” (October 6, 1945)

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

Our ancestors were filled with wisdom; they were proactive managers of the country. Today our national and local leaders are overwhelmed by this China virus, its focus is in disarray, instead of prioritizing food security and producing healthy food in order to raise healthy citizens, with strong immune system. Here is what our forefathers were discussing amidst the diseases brought by the war:

Gentlemen of the Congress:

I am returning to you herewith House Bill No. 302, “AN ACT CREATING THE INSTITUTE OF NUTRITION, DEFINING ITS POWERS, DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS”, without my approval.

The objectives of this bill are very laudable. It cannot be questioned that the promotion of the people’s health by proper nutrition is one of the important functions of the State. The establishment of an institute concerned primarily with the improvement of the diet and the proper nutrition of the people will fill a long-felt need for building up a robust nation peopled with healthy, strong and vigorous citizens.

The bill, however, has one objectionable feature and that is the provision under Section 3 transferring to the proposed Institute of Nutrition the Plant Utilization Division, including the Food Preparation and Preservation Section, Home Development Section and Agricultural Chemistry Section, of the Bureau of Plant Industry. The functions of the Plant Utilization Division, as now organized, are very essential to the Bureau of Plant Industry in its crop improvement work, especially in the selection and testing of cereals, fruits, root crops, vegetables etc., for commercial purposes. Agricultural Chemistry is not only inseparable but by nature it is also indispensable to the proper prosecution of most of the other important research functions of the Bureau of Plant Industry related to the utilization of agricultural products as well as their by-products. It is necessary for the preparation of insecticides from local raw materials to determine the right formula for fighting effectively plant pests and diseases as well as in the utilization of agricultural wastes like abaca pulp and sugar cane bagasse for the manufacture of cellulose, coconut husk for the manufacture of coir, and similar activities on industrialization which are properly within the scope of the Bureau of Plant Industry.

In view of the foregoing, I regret that I am unable to approve House Bill No. 302.

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