Recognizing the importance of preserving the culinary tradition as a vital part of the nation’s cultural heritage, Senator Loren Legarda pushes for a measure that seeks to develop and preserve the Philippines’ culinary heritage as she filed Senate Bill No. 244 or the “Philippine Culinary Heritage Act of 2022.”
“Food is an essential part of our culture and identity as Filipinos. We must celebrate this uniqueness as it conveys the story of the country and unites the spirits of Filipino people despite the differences in food traditions in every region,” she said.
Legarda explained that the concerned agencies such as the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Tourism (DOT) shall conduct food heritage mapping “to promote, preserve and raise the awareness among Filipino people of the importance of culinary heritage and tradition preservation.” These agencies shall identify and record tangible culinary resources and conduct regional culinary identity mapping while considering the geography, indigenous peoples’ food culture, and various cooking techniques.
“Through SB 244, we seek to provide essential support to sectors such as agriculture, tourism, culture and arts to preserve our culinary heritage. We also want to promote traditional cooking methods using heirloom ingredients and conduct food heritage and regional culinary identity mapping,” she added.
Another important provision of the proposed measure is the establishment of the Committee on Philippine Gastronomy and Culinary Heritage under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), which will be responsible for the formulation and promulgation of policies, plans, and programs to ensure the further development, enrichment, propagation, promotion, and preservation of Filipino cuisine, Filipino culinary heritage, heirloom food, and gastronomy.
The Committee will also oversee the yearly celebration of Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino or the Filipino Food Month activities as per Presidential Proclamation No. 469 and coordinate with DepEd to formally integrate culinary heritage and Philippine gastronomy into the primary and secondary education curricula.
“We must strengthen and deepen our understanding and appreciation of our cultural identity through food heritage. One way of doing this is by including it in our education system. This way, we would be able to instill patriotism among our people while we preserve our culture,” Legarda added.