A netizen expresses his dismay at DTI for its proposal to create "standards" for cooking adobo. | Tweet from @pinkintwit

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has released a clarification on the contentious proposal to create Philippine National Standards (PNS) for cooking sinigang (sour and savory stew), lechon (roasted whole pig), adobo, and other popular local foods.

A press statement sent Sunday to Palawan News by the trade and industry agency said there is nothing to worry about the establishment of standards for the aforementioned dishes as they are meant to market them overseas.

“Adobo recipe ‘standard’? Nothing to worry on this. This is just among the many groundworks to develop more creative industry exports,” the DTI statement said.

“There was a suggestion in the industry to have consultations among chefs and what will be in a traditional recipe, especially for international promotions (example your adobo won’t become paksiw or humba or your menudo won’t become afritada), or we heard there’s also adobo from Mexico,” the statement added.

The clarification was issued after netizens slammed the DTI for its proposal to create “standards” for cooking adobo, hence the trending hashtag #HandsOffMyAdobo on social media networking sites.

Netizens urged the department to recognize that there are many different methods to prepare and cook adobo, all of which are acceptable.

“Creating ‘standard’ dishes implies treating the rest as sub-standard and dismissing the rich cultural variety among our provinces. I hope my taxes go to something substantial rather than paying this DTI committee,” tweets one netizen.

DTI stressed that the standard is not mandatory and is only meant to promote the Philippine adobo to the world.

“Obviously, this is not a mandatory standard because there are thousands or millions of different ‘lutong adobo’. The attempt is to define what we will promote internationally and not redefining what adobo is to different people,” DTI said.

To many Filipinos, the best adobo is the one “cooked at home” or “cooked by their parents or lola,” DTI added.

DTI also said there is a lot of creativity going on and this must be encouraged.