The Philippine Star

Belmonte defends anti-junk food ordinance

- – Emmanuel Tupas

Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte yesterday stood by the ordinance banning junk food and sugary drinks in schools but said they are open to changing the list of prohibited products.

“The implementa­tion will continue but subject to review after one month,” Belmonte said in an interview over radio station dzRH.

Belmonte gave the assurance after some school officials voiced opposition to the implementa­tion of City Ordinance 2579-2017, which prohibits the sale of junk food and soft drinks within 100 meters from schools.

Belmonte urged school officials to support the ordinance’s implementa­tion.

“If there’s a problem, we can review the list to update it,” she said.

The officials expressed concern that students will no longer buy from school canteens and just bring their own food.

In the ordinance, school canteens are not allowed to sell food that are not indigenous, not made of natural products, fortified food such as instant noodles, prepacked snacks, processed food such as hotdogs and meat loaf, ice cream, chewing gum and fried food.

Belmonte said is also seeking a review of inspection protocols.

The city health officials, accompanie­d by police officers and members of media, inspected two public schools on Thursday.

Officials of the two schools felt “they were disrespect­ed by the manner of inspection,” she said.

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