MANILA, Philippines – Daily survival during this time of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is a big challenge.
Most households depend on relief goods coming from local government units (LGUs) or some ‘good Samaritans’ delivering packed items especially for low-income families.
One common item that these relief packages have is the canned sardines.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently reported that demand for canned sardines has doubled since the ECQ took effect.
But the agency warned traders of the existing price freeze on basic commodities at this time that the country is under state of calamity.
Consumer group ‘Laban Konsyumer’ is in support of DTI setting a limit in purchase and pricing of canned sardines.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), each Filipino consumes an average of three and a half kilogram of sardines per year.
Given the current population, BFAR assures enough production of raw fish being used for sardine manufacturing now that dry season or the harvest season has started especially in Zamboanga Peninsula, the major source of fish used in sardine manufacturing.
There are a number of nutrients that can be obtained from eating sardines, according to nutritionist Krizia Paylago.
These include certain proteins and Omega 3 fatty acid which help prevent heart disease and certain cancer; calcium and phosphorous that strengthen the bones and teeth; potassium that helps lower stress; as well as sodium and lycopin.
But Paylago does not recommend daily consumption of sardines especially to people with hypertension or high-blood pressure; heart problems; gout and liver problems.
Sardines can be cooked in many ways and with certain vegetables like moringa leaves, swamp cabbage, pechay and other green leafy vegetables.
“Basically, ready to eat na lahat ang mga ito pero i-highlight lang natin na mas mainan din itong pangsahog o pampalasa sa iba’t iba pang kayang i-prepare natin ang ulam tulad ng gulay dahil nga naman iisa ang lasa nito at saka may kaalatan,” Paylago explained.
[Basically, these are ready to eat goods but we want to highlight that these can also be cooked with vegetables for a variety of menu since they have almost similar flavor and saltiness.]
Paylago suggests some tips on proper purchase and consumption of canned sardines:
Check the expiration date.
Wash the can before opening.
Check the content for unpleasant smell and taste or abnormal discoloration.
Do not purchase or consume sardines with corroded, damaged can as these may have small openings where bacteria such as clostridium botulinum may populate and cause health risk like paralysis when consumed.
Water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water, will no longer push for their rate increase in January 2020.
During the hearing of the House Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability on Tuesday (December 10), President & CEO of Manila Water Jose Almendras said they will suspend the water rate increase in January.
“Ipina-retain po namin sa MWSS [Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System] sa aming sulat noong ikatlo ng Disyembre ang aming hangarin para magkasundo kung paano maaayos na maipatutupad ang pagpaliban sa nasabing naaprubahang taas singil ng tubig, (We asked the MWSSto retain our letter last December 3 regarding our aim to negotiate and implement the suspension of the approved water rate increase)” he said.
This is amid the alleged onerous contracts between the government and the water concessionaires. Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra has disclosed that several provisions in the 1997 water concession agreements have been found to be onerous and disadvantageous to the government.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
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