Villar denies proposing 'unli' rice ban

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 15) — Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, clarified on Thursday she is not planning to file a bill banning unlimited rice promos in food establishments.

"I am not planning to make a law banning 'unli rice', not at all. I just voiced out my concern that eating too much rice is one of the main causes of high blood sugar that leads to diabetes," Villar said in a statement.

While Villar acknowledged cutting down on rice would be difficult as it is a staple, she suggested Filipinos should turn to healthier options.

"I have recommended to the government departments and they are doing it in some areas already to incorporate vegetable gardening in schools in the feeding program, for instance," Villar said.

READ: Villar says no to 'unli' rice

This comes after a Senate hearing on the National Food Authority's rice importation program on Wednesday, where Villar said Filipinos should eat less rice as part of a healthier lifestyle.

She also challenged the Department of Agriculture's "no importation" policy starting 2018, as data showed a rice shortage happening this year, prompting the government to import rice.

Netizens then took their reactions to social media, as initial reports of the senator's plan to ban unli-rice promos circulated online.