A Mona Lisa Act that can address obesity better than the Anti-Obesity Bill

Senator Cynthia Villar has sought the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 2230, or the Anti-Obesity Act of 2023. The objective of her proposed measure is “to establish a comprehensive nationwide anti-obesity campaign to control and prevent obesity among Filipinos.”

The legislative proposal of Cynthia Villar is laudable but it is just like serving an icing without the cake. For years as head of the Committee on Agriculture, no significant law has been passed that could genuinely address the health situation of the Filipinos. The legislative measure that could have made an impact, the National Land Use Act, still remains a Mona Lisa bill — it just lies there (in her committee), and it dies there.

But you know, if the interest of Cynthia goes beyond the interest of the Villar Group of companies, her Senate Bill 2230 may not be needed anymore with the passage of a genuine National Land Use Act.

A real and purely pro-people Land Use Act may not directly curb obesity, but it can indirectly help to reduce obesity rates. The Act can promote the development of communities with safe and accessible walking and biking paths, playgrounds, and parks. By increasing access to public spaces for physical activities, people may be more likely to engage in physical activities, which can help reduce the risk of obesity.

Additionally, land use planning can support increased access to healthy food options through the creation of community gardens and farmers’ markets. This can help people make healthier food choices, which can also contribute to lowering obesity rates.

Overall, the passage of the National Land Use Act may create a resourceful environment that promotes physical activities and healthy food choices, which can indirectly help to curb obesity. The question is: Will Cynthia allow it?


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