AS the May 13 mid-term elections continue to draw near, senatorial hopefuls parading their projects, so-called accomplishments and promises are just commonplace.
It’s okay for us voters to listen to these candidates, review their performance or service record and gauge whether or not they will be keeping their campaign promises or, in the case of reelectionists or old, veteran politicians, if they have kept the promises they made the last time they ran.
In the same breadth, it would be worthy to recall what these candidates have done in the past that are simply anti-poor or run counter to what is for the common good.
Among these is the infamous proposal of Senator Cynthia Villar to ban the unlimited rice scheme in some of restaurants.
Villar, in a committee inquiry in 2017 regarding National Food Authority’s rice importation program, suggested for restaurants to ban serving unlimited rice in their meals.
According to her at that time, this would encourage Filipinos to consume brown rice instead. Villar also said consumption of well-milled rice is not good for one’s health.
This apparently did not sit well with netizens, who raised howls of protest as they were not pleased with what Villar wanted to happen, stating that it was unfavourable to the masses.
Availing of the ‘unli-rice’ option in restaurants should not even be subject to discourse; the normal Filipino worker, tired as a bull after a hard day’s labor, would want to feed himself a hearty meal.
Unlike Villar, these Filipinos who are starved after some rigorous labor and who are on a tight budget while eking out a living, would opt for the ‘unli-rice’ offer in restaurants. These unlimited rice offers are budget-friendly and easy on the pockets of a normal Juan dela Cruz.
Not to mention that as an agricultural country wherein rice production is among the most vital factors in its economy, the Philippines boasts of unlimited rice as a part of modern culture and has long been in our local restaurants.
The negative reactions generated by the proposal to ban ‘unli-rice’ were too much to handle that Villar took back her words, drawing even more flak.
Why she even posted a message online in an apparent effort to dampen the fire created by her proposal. If my memory serves me right, I think she categorically stated that the banning of ‘unli-rice’ will no longer push through.
For someone whose husband is now the richest in the country, eclipsing the late bigtime businessman Henry Sy, Senator Villar can and will never know how important ‘unli-rice’ is to ordinary Filipinos, specially those who belong to the poor sector.
Apparently, this issue will be hounding the campaign of Villar all the way to election day because lately, netizens have been bringing up this issue against Villar via social media , reminding the public of how she had the temerity to even just entertain the thought of denying the masses the privilege of enjoying meager savings by being able to eat as much rice as they can and get their stomachs filled the cheapest way possible.
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