Senator seeks to preserve PH’s culinary heritage

On Wednesday, SENATE Pro Tempore President Lorna Regina “Loren” Legarda pushed for the development and preservation of the culinary heritage of the Philippines.

The senator introduced Senate Bill (SB) 244 or the proposed “Philippine Culinary Heritage Act of 2022” to recognize the importance of preserving culinary tradition.

“Food is an essential part of our culture and identity as Filipinos. Through SB 244, we seek to provide essential support to sectors such as agriculture, tourism, culture and the arts to preserve our culinary heritage,” Legarda said.

“We must celebrate this uniqueness as it conveys the country’s history and unites the spirits of the Filipino people despite the differences in food traditions in each region,” she said in a statement. “We also want to promote traditional cooking methods using ancestral ingredients and carry out a mapping of food heritage and regional culinary identity.

SB 244 calls for the establishment of the Committee on Philippine Gastronomy and Culinary Heritage within the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

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It will be responsible for formulating and promulgating policies, plans and programs to ensure the development, enrichment, propagation, promotion and preservation of Filipino cuisine, Filipino culinary heritage, traditional foods and gastronomy .

“We need to strengthen and deepen our understanding and appreciation of our cultural identity through food heritage,” the senator said.

“One way to do that is to include it in our education system. That way, we would be able to instill patriotism in our people while preserving our culture.”

She said the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Tourism should carry out food heritage mapping “to promote, preserve and educate Filipinos about importance of culinary heritage and the preservation of traditions”.

These bodies should identify and record tangible culinary resources and map regional culinary identity while taking into account geography, indigenous peoples’ food culture and diverse cooking techniques.