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“Everything is possible through plant-based lifestyle” – Plant-based nutrition advocates
April 16, 2021 Friday

There is a need to change the narrative of agriculture to encourage more youth to go and venture agribusiness. Photo from the PowerPoint presentation of Ms. Cherrie Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International, Inc. MANILA, 16 April 2021 — Plant-based nutrition advocates highlighted the benefits of shifting to a plant-based diet, growing your own food, providing help for our farmers, and making ourselves healthy in the midst of climate and health crises during the 41st episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the second part of the topic, “Oh My Gulay!” The online conversation hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, featured sustainable food enthusiasts including Cherrie Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International; Roni Matalog, Founder of Plants & Purpose; Chef Lilibeth “B” Camposano, Founder of The Sexy Kitchen by B; and Adolf Aguilar, Chief of Youth Formation Division of the Department of Education (DepEd). The guests discussed why healthy diets, sustainable food systems, and regenerative farming are needed in pursuing green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and shared practical tips to start a plant-based journey. They also highlighted how a balanced diet through plant-based food and reducing food waste can present major opportunities to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impact. The success stories of Gulayan sa Paaralan of DepEd and how it has been complemented by the Gulayan sa Tahanan program were also given emphasis during the episode. “Ang pagpapatubo natin ng pagkain ay hindi dapat nakasisira sa kalikasan, hindi rin dapat nakasisira sa kalusugan, at dapat nakako-contribute ito sa ekonomiya ng ating bansa. Food is the new internet kasi it connects all of us. It should also propel us to do good. Palagi nating alalahanin ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda, na sila ang ating heroes,” said Atilano. “How can we start a plant-based journey? Identify your purpose, ano ‘yung intention mo or reason, learn actively, take action, focus on your nourishment instead of considering it only as a diet, thrive on your journey and lifestyle, and get social support,” said Matalog. “Kailangan nating malaman na dahil sa pag-unlad ay masyadong bumibilis ang pagproseso ng pagkain. Sa ating pangangailangang kumain, maraming nasisira, nakalilimutan na ang social responsibilities sa paggawa ng pagkain. Nagkakaroon tayo ng pollution, animal abuse, obesity, and mental health diseases. Nagkakaroon tayo ng global warming because of our food production – pagkasira ng lupa, deforestation, and human food waste,” said Chef B. “Ang Gulayan sa Paaralan will ensure that our schools will have a steady supply of vegetables. Through this, kapag nakita nila sa paaralan, gagayahin din ito ng families sa kani-kanilang mga tahanan. Isa sa mga magandang naidulot ng pandemic ay nagkakaroon ng panahon at opportunity na magtanim at mag-grow ng sariling gulay ang families, ang ating teachers, kaya medyo masagana po ang ani sa ating mga gulayan lalo na sa mga probinsya,” said Aguilar. Legarda reiterated that not only farmers, LGUs, schools, and chefs can have their own vegetable farm. Everyone can be self-sufficient and sustainable by learning urban gardening in the time of pandemic and growing their own food to sustain their basic needs. "Hindi naman kailangan ng napakalaking budget para magkaroon ng sariling gulayan. Ang importante lang, may kaunting lupa. Puwede tayong magtanim sa naresikulong bote, lata, o plastik. ‘Yung ating food wastes at dried leaves ang ginagawang organic fertilizer. We save seeds, tayo ay nagpapatuyo ng mga buto galing sa ating kinakain at ‘yun ang siyang ipapasibol. If we institutionalize ‘yung segregation of waste at source, recycling, at tayo ang gagawa ng sariling compost at magse-save ng seeds na itatanim, sigurado akong hindi napakalaking budget ang kailangan," Legarda concluded. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.

Plant-based nutrition, alamin sa ika-41 na episode ng seryeng 'Stories for a Better Normal'
April 14, 2021 Wednesday

MAYNILA, ika-14 ng Abril taong 2021 — Muling magtitipon-tipon virtually ang ilan sa mga kilalang sustainable food enthusiasts bilang pangalawang bahagi ng temang "Oh My Gulay!", upang magbahagi ng karagdagan nilang kaalaman ukol sa plant-based diets at makapagbigay kamalayan sa benepisyong hatid ng pagkaing plant-based sa lokal na ekonomiya, kalusugang pantao at kapaligiran ngayong ika-41 na episode ng seryeng “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways.” Ito ang pang-huling special episode para sa paggunita ng National Food Month.   Sa pangunguna ni dating three-term Senator at kasalukuyang Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, mapapanood ang episode na ito ngayong Huwebes ika-15 ng Abril 2021, 10:00 AM sa pamamagitan ng Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Kasama sa online na talakayan ang mga tagapagsulong ng plant-based na pagkain na sina Cherrie Atilano, Founder at CEO ng AGREA Agricultural Systems International; Roni Matalog, Founder ng Plants & Purpose;  Chef Lilibeth “B” Camposano, Founder ng The Sexy Kitchen by B; at Adolf Aguilar, Chief of Youth Formation Division ng Department of Education (DepEd).   Maaalalang sa nakaraang mga episode, pinag-usapan sa online na serye ang kahalagahan ng pangangalaga ng lokal na mga pamanang pagkain sa pamamagitan ng sustenableng mga diets, pati na rin ang pagtatanim sa likod-bakuran, paghahalaman para may anihing pagkain, pag-iipon ng mga binhi, at ang pagtatanim ng mga organikong prutas at gulay sa pamamaraang permaculture upang maturuan ang publiko kung paano maging self-sustainable at self-sufficient.   Samantala, para naman sa episode na ito, mas paiigtingin nina Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng kaniyang mga panauhin ang pagbibigay-diin sa plant-based diets bilang holistic approach sa pagpapabuti ng kasalukuyang sistema ng pagkain, at makapaghihikayat sa mga manonood na suportahan at palawakin pa ang mga kasanayang may kaugnayan sa sustenableng agrikultura sa bansa.   Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisasabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman mula sa Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, at civil society organizations na Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.

Plant-based nutrition in 41st episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
April 13, 2021 Tuesday

MANILA, 13 April 2021 — Sustainable food enthusiasts will gather again virtually for the second part of the topic, “Oh My Gulay!” to share further knowledge on plant-based diets and to raise awareness on the benefits of plant-based food to the local economy, human health and the environment on the 41st episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways.” This is the last special episode for the observance of National Food Month.   The episode, hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 15 April 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Joining the online conversation are plant-based advocates including Cherrie Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International; Roni Matalog, Founder of Plants & Purpose; Chef Lilibeth “B” Camposano, Founder of The Sexy Kitchen by B; and Adolf Aguilar, Chief of Youth Formation Division of the Department of Education (DepEd).   In previous episodes, the online series tackled the importance of preserving local food heritage through sustainable diets, as well as backyard farming, food gardening, saving seeds, and planting organic fruits and vegetables the permaculture way in order to teach the public how to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.   In this episode, Legarda and esteemed guests will further highlight plant-based diets as a holistic approach in improving the current food system, and will encourage the viewers to support and expand sustainable agricultural practices in the country.   As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.

“Gawing malusog at sustenable ang ating mga buhay sa pamamagitan ng plant-based diets” – ayon sa plant-based chefs
April 12, 2021 Monday

Mga panghimagas na gawa sa iba’t ibang klase ng gulay. Litrato mula sa PowerPoint presentation ni Chef Mae Viluan-Dolonis ng Studio Plantmaed. MAYNILA, ika-12 ng Abril taong 2021 — Naging tampok sa isinagawang ika-40 episode ng Seryeng “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” na may temang “Oh My Gulay!”, ang mga pamamaraan kung paano magkakaroon ng sustenableng pagkonsumo ng pagkain sa pamamagitan ng mura at easy-to-do plant-based recipes, pati na ang kaakibat nitong malaking oportunidad at benepisyo sa usapin ng kalusugang pantao, kapaligiran, at sa ekonomiya. Pinangunahan ni Deputy Speaker at Antique Representative Loren Legarda ang nasabing online na talakayan kasama ang mga panauhin na sina Chef Mae Dolonius ng Studio Plantmade; Chef JR Royol, na host ng Farm to Table ng GMA; at Asha Peri ng Ecology of Food. Ibinahagi ng mga panauhin ang kanilang mga karanasan kung paano sila naging taga-sulong ng plant-based lifestyle, at hinikayat ang mga manonood na subukan ang plant-based diet. “During this time of the pandemic, may dalawang salita akong natutunan na sana maging convincing in transition to plant-based: asymptomatic at essential. Una, essential Alam dapat natin kung ano ang essential sa buhay natin. Pangalawa, asymptomatic. Hindi lang Covid ang asymptomatic, maraming sakit na biglang stage 4 na lang na hindi natin alam, at puwede nating maiwasan, kung ia-adopt natin ang plant-based lifestyle. Malaking tulong ito sa lahat ng pamilya natin," giit ni Chef Mae Dolonius. "Isa sa mga benepisyo ng pagkakaroon ng ganitong plataporma o pamamaraan ay ang lalo pang mapag-usapan ang benepisyo nito dahil nga itinatanong din ng marami kung ano ang magiging pakinabang nito para sa kanila? Kapag sinusubukan mong kausapin at turuan sila tungkol sa plant-based diet, lalo na ‘yung mga vegan dish o ulam, natu-turn off sila kasi 'di nila nakikita kung ano'ng kinakailangan nilang baguhin. Kaya ipinapakita natin ngayon kung ano'ng health benefits at environmental impacts. At pagkatapos, sa day-to-day na buhay ng tao, 'yung economical side din ‘yung gusto nating i-highlight. Ang paggawa ng plant-based diet ay 'di kinakailangang maging kumplikado. Ang plant-based diet ay 'di kinakailangang maging di-komportable," pahayag ni Chef JR Royol. "I-encourage na mas i-integrate pa ang plant-based diet kahit hindi agad 100%.  Importante po ang plant-based diet, eating more plants for our defense system lalo na ngayong may mga problema sa health, global crisis, environment, at climate change. At, very important ang diversity sa nutrition, kaya pinapauso ko itong undervalued and forgotten crops kasi ang daming nagsa-suffer ngayon sa malnutrition.  Kung ida-diversify natin ‘yung diet natin at kakainin 'yung mga dati nating nalilimutan, then ito ‘yung susi sa very good nutrition natin. Hindi lang sa plant-based pero suportahan din natin ang lokal nating mga industriya, tulad ng organic farmers, non-GMO movement, at i-diversify o palawakin pa ang ating diet,” ani ni Chef Asha Peri. Hinikayat naman ni Legarda ang mga manonood na bumili ng sariwang mga lokal na pagkain mula sa farmer markets at mga supply na pagkain sa lokal nating mga pamilihan, magtanim ng mga prutas at gulay sa bakuran. “Sa buong 12 months ng pandemya, actually bago pa man tayo magka-pandemya, talagang nagtatanim na ako. Talagang praktikal na magtanim sa sariling bakuran. Kung may maliit o malaking lupa, sa probinsya man o sa siyudad, mahalagang magtanim. I believe in growing my own food. I believe in sharing the food that we grow. Naniniwala ako sa batas na aking ginawa -- ang Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, kung saan kinakailangan i-segregate ang garbage, mag recycle at compost, kaya ang bote, lata, at plastic, ay pwedeng tamnan,” pagtatapos ni Legarda. Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman ng Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.

Legarda files Bill on Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting
April 12, 2021 Monday

MANILA, 12 April 2021 — Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, filed a bill seeking to develop and implement an ecosystem and natural accounting system that applies to the Philippine environment, giving importance to the role, value, and impact of the country’s natural resources on the economy.   “For decades, the debate has been whether to choose economy over conservation of natural resources.  This is a false dichotomy. The economy and all of society are fully and entirely dependent on natural resources—our natural capital that includes our forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems,” Legarda said.   House Bill 9181, otherwise known as the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Law of 2021, will include what was formerly considered “externalities,” not valued as capital, in the national income accounts.  Conventional national income accounting systems measure economic performance by determining the value of goods and services produced in a country and aggregating them to develop economic development indicators, such as the Gross National Product (GNP) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   Legarda explained that “the goods and services included in this accounting system are those that are “marketed,” the prices of which are the basis for estimating the value that is then included in computing economic indicators. This methodology thus reflects the goods and services produced, sold, and bought in the economy. However, these goods and services are almost entirely reliant on the goods and services that the natural environment generates.   “Consumption benefits of products and amenities provided by the natural environment, waste disposal services, and pollution are part of producing marketed commodities but are not valuated (positively or negatively) and reflected in national income accounting.  While it is difficult to undertake this valuation, and many would say it would tend to commodify what is priceless, the lack of such valuation has led to the appreciation of these services as having zero instead of priceless value,” Legarda said.   Indicators and standards generated by the national income accounting system are considered vital information for economic management and policymaking. They serve as the basis for socio-economic planning, formulation of development programs, and policy analysis to aid legislation, among others. Legarda stressed that it is important that the national income accounts reflect a more accurate state of development and economic performance of the country and should incorporate both environmental and non-environmental economic inputs and outputs for policymakers to make responsive, relevant, and effective laws, plans, and programs necessary for national development.   “The bill, when passed into law, will allow government planners to have a full understanding of the natural capital available and expendable in the pursuit of national goals.  For instance, there has not been an accounting of whether our legally harvested sand and gravel will suffice to meet the needs of both the Build Build Build program and the demands of the private sector.  Good housekeeping requires that you budget what you have and not live beyond your means.  It is the same for national patrimony.  Not taking into account how much we have and how to allocate it drives our ecosystems to ruin. The climate crisis and biodiversity losses that could potentially lead to the next pandemic highlight the urgency of having this bill approved and implemented,” Legarda concluded.   The proposed measure adheres to the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which the UN introduced in 2006 and has been continuously advancing further with the adoption of the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting in March 2001 and the UN collaborative project with other organizations on Natural Capital Accounting and Ecosystem Valuation that will end in 2021.   A Working Group of experts on environment and natural resources, economics, management, and science and technology from the Climate Crisis and Sustainable Development Network (CCSDN) and the former Sustainable Development Committee of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) assisted in drafting the bill. They include Dr. Marian delos Angeles, Dr. Corazon Claudio, Dr. Laura David, Ms. Maricor Ebarvia, Dr. Angelina Galang, former NEDA chief Dr. Cielito Habito, Dr. Ben Malayang, and Ms. Rina Ma. Rosales.