MANILA—A lawmaker has expressed concern over reports that some indigenous agricultural products like the rice from the Cordillera are slowly vanishing in the market.
Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez (1st District, Cagayan de Oro City) said there are over 300 varieties of rice in the Cordillera including the traditional varieties Javanica and Indica subspecies and the rare varieties called “chong-ak,” “imbuucan” and “ominio.”
The Ark of Taste, an international organization that has recorded 1,600 rare varieties of rice around the world, had included “chong-ak,” “imbuucan” and “ominio,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said “chong-ak,” which is “plump, rust red, seed-coated,” is planted in the Kalinga province from December to February every year.
“The imbuucan rice also known as tinglu, is grown on the rice terraces of Banaue and Hingyon in Ifugao province,” Rodriguez said.
On the other hand, Rodriguez said the ominio rice is a medium-sized, glutinous grain variety grown in the town of Barlig, Mt Province.
Also disappearing in the market are “alamid” coffee from the droppings of the Philippine palm civet, “sinarapan,” a small fish found only at Lakes Bato and Buhi in Camarines Sur, the “kabog,” a small seeded cereal plant known as millet in other countries and the “budbod kabog,” a black native cake from “kabog,” according to Rodriguez.
“These endangered food varieties should be preserved and protected in order to ensure that they will continue to be grown in the country,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez has filed House Resolution 1598 urging the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to conduct an inquiry into the issue.
“There is a need to look into this matter to determine the laws needed to ensure the continued existence of these endangered food varieties,” Rodriguez said. (PNA)