Following its successful implementation in Quezon City, the local government, in partnership with advocacy group ImagineLaw, shared its Healthy Public Food Procurement (HPFP) Policy with other local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies on Monday as part of its efforts to create a healthier Philippines.
Mayor Joy Belmonte led the Policy Showcase at the Quezon City Hall, with representatives from interested LGUs, concerned national government agencies, professional organizations, and the academe in attendance.
In 2021, Belmonte issued Executive Order No. 16, implementing the Healthy Public Food Procurement (HPFP) Policy, becoming the first city in the country to institutionalize the policy in its operations.
Through the Policy Showcase, Belmonte hopes to encourage other cities to emulate Quezon City’s initiative to ensure that no public funds will be spent on unhealthy food.
“Our vision is to foster a healthier community, not only for the well-being of individuals but also for the well-being of our planet,” Belmonte said during her speech.
“With cities at the forefront of addressing global issues such as health and nutrition and climate change, we all must stand together to enact strong policies to build a better future for our constituency,” she added.
The Mayor also thanked various national government agencies, including the Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) for expressing interest in Quezon City’s initiative, saying it would help motivate cities and municipalities to embrace similar policies.
Under the EO, all offices, departments, institutions, and task-forces of the Quezon City government are mandated to ensure that all food and food supplies procured by the city government for its various offices, projects, and programs comply with the QC Nutrition Standards.
The directive also applies to all entities involved in the process of procuring or supplying food for the local government, including food suppliers.
In addition, suppliers are encouraged to source their healthy food and healthy food ingredients from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including the 700 urban farms in Quezon City.
“By aligning sustainable food production with healthy food procurement, we are making sure that health and food security go hand in hand,” Belmonte said.
The local government’s efforts has been recognized by the Department of Health when it was recognized at the Healthy Pilipinas Awards in 2022.
The city government recently received technical assistance from Policy for Healthy Cities Program of Vital Strategies for the creation of a Calorie Labelling Policy, which will help QCitizens decide what food to eat based on their calorie content.
The Calorie Labelling Policy will be implemented soon with the help of Imagine Law.
“This policy will be a game-changer, providing clear and transparent information about the calorie content of food items, equipping our community with the knowledge they need to lead healthier lives,” Belmonte emphasized.