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First in PH: Joy Belmonte spearheads initiative to buy healthy food

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has formalized the government’s plan to buy nutritious food to encourage healthy eating habits among residents.

Executive Order No. 16 S-2021 mandates all offices, departments, institutions, and task forces of the Quezon City government to ensure that all food and food supplies procured by the city government for its various offices, projects, and programs must 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.

Belmonte said there’s a need to promote healthy eating because high sodium intake, low intake of whole grains, and low intake of fruits are the leading causes of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally.

“In the Philippines, NCDs account for 68 percent of all deaths, and one in every three Filipinos is likely to die before the age of 70 from one of the four major NCDs, such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases,” Belmonte said in her EO.

The Office of the City Administrator is the lead agency mandated by the EO to issue detailed guidelines and oversee its implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

The Quezon City Health Department will review and update the QC Nutrition Standards every three years and develop reference materials and tools to facilitate the EO’s implementation.